The Mexican Navy took control of the country’s 103 seaports beginning on Saturday, June 17, due to security concerns, including the presence of smugglers. The navy will now be responsible for all security functions until further notice, as well as other operational aspects, including scheduling and logistics and the inspections of ships and cargo.
This in the short-term could lead to an increase in the frequency of clashes between security forces and criminal groups in port areas.
Mexican port cities have increasingly become theaters of turf wars between rival gangs battling over access to ports as a means to ship drugs and other contraband to foreign markets. The cities of Lázaro Cárdenas (Michoacán state), Manzanillo (Colima), and Acapulco (Guerrero) have been particularly hard hit.
Individuals in port cities are advised to adhere to instructions issued by navy officials and to keep abreast of the situation. More generally, 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, in particular Guerrero, Michoacán, and Tamaulipas states and the northeastern border with the United States, as well as, to a lesser extent, Baja California, Chihuahua, Durango, Jalisco, Nayarit, Nuevo León, Sinaloa, and Veracruz states.
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