The governor of Veracruz announced that at least 11 people, including four children, were killed in a spate of gang-related violence on Saturday, June 24. Three of the victims include a federal police commander and two federal agents, who were killed in the ambush in Cardel, one of Veracruz's most violence-ridden municipalities. In the nearby city of Coatzacoalcos, two adults and four children were shot at an outdoor restaurant, and two women were shot and killed in the town of Orzizaba.
Authorities have launched an investigation into the "barbaric" incidents.
On February 26, Veracruz Governor Miguel Ángel Yunes announced that additional federal police were being deployed to the municipalities of Xalapa and Córdoba in Veracruz. Mexico more generally continues to suffer from high crime rates. According to official data, May 2017 was the country's most violent month since 1997, with 2000 murders recorded.
Much of the violence is driven by narco-trafficking. Clashes between narco-gangs and government forces are at the highest levels since former President Felipe Calderon's war against narco-trafficking (2008 to 2011). The capture and extradition of Joaquin Guzmán (El Chapo), former leader of the Sinaloa cartel has led rival groups to attempt to take advantage of the power vacuum and establish stronger criminal networks.
Individuals in Veracruz are advised to remain vigilant at all times.
Due to extreme levels of violence linked to the presence of various armed groups, many Western governments advise against travel to a large portion of Mexican territory, including Guerrero, Colima, Sinaloa, Michoacán, and Tamaulipas states and the northeastern border with the United States, as well as to a lesser extent Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Jalisco, Nayarit, Nuevo León, and Sonora states.