Armed violence in Zitlala and Ostula, Mexico

Mexican authorities have reported seven people have been killed on Wednesday night when 10 to 15 armed men ambushed a group of civilians in the town of Zitlala, near Chiapa. There is ongoing violence between drug gangs in this area.

Meanwhile, earlier in the week, a 12-year-old boy was killed and four people injured by shrapnel from bullets inside a restaurant in Ostula. The source of the shrapnel is unknown. However a clash between protesters and police occurred about 300 meters away from the restaurant.

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Some self-defense groups in the area say they have no government protection from organized crime in Michoacan.

In Mexico, drug-related violence between gangs competing for control has increased over recent years. The violence is concentrated in specific areas. Armed clashes between police and drug gangs can break out quickly and unexpectedly.

Drug-related violence is a particular problem in the following states: Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Sinaloa, Durango, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoac√°n and Nayarit.