The government of Guerrero is stepping up security in the Tierra Caliente region of the state after a video circulated on social media showing a convoy of armed civilians entering the municipality of Pungarabato.
In the video, which was uploaded to social media on Wednesday afternoon, a convoy of 11 pickup trucks can be seen driving in what appears to be Ciudad Altamirano, the municipal seat of Pungarabato.
Anonymous sources told the newspaper El Universal that the occupants of the trucks were members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), which is believed to be making an incursion into Guerrero.
State security spokesman Roberto Álvarez Heredia said the government is monitoring the situation, but has not been able to confirm whether drivers of the trucks were members of the CJNG, or whether they were in Ciudad Altamirano. But he also said that neither of those possibilities could be ruled out.
As a precautionary measure, the presence of the army and state police will be ramped up in the region.
Pungarabato lies on Guerrero’s border with Michoacán in the Tierra Caliente region, which includes parts of inland Guerrero and Michoacán. According to state police, the nine Tierra Caliente municipalities in Guerrero are dominated by organized crime groups from Michoacán such as the Familia Michoacana and the Caballeros Templarios, and are considered some of the most violent municipalities in the state.
According to government sources who spoke to the news magazine Proceso, organized crime groups in Pungarabato and five other nearby municipalities have been imposing a curfew and limiting freedom of movement for several days.
Armed civilians have set up checkpoints on the highway between Arcelia and Ciudad Altamirano, they said.
The sources said that leaders of the Familia Michoacana and Caballeros Templarios cartels in Guerrero have made a temporary alliance, and are preparing to fend off an attempt by the CJNG to take over.
Residents of the municipalities told Proceso that for the past several days they have been hearing messages played on loudspeakers urging people to stay in their homes because of the violence.