18 people were killed after a bloody gunfight erupted between suspected rival drug cartels in an abandoned area near the city of Valparaiso, which is north of Mexico City.

According to NDTV, the most recent violence comes amid mounting tensions between the cartels, who are engulfed in a turf war to fight over trade routes. The Zacatecas security force also wrote that three burned-out vehicles were found at the scene, along with a “significant number of casings of different calibers.” 
“The state has the obligation to guarantee peace and tranquility, the security of all citizens,” Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said during a press conference on Friday.

The most recent gunfight arrives amidst a surge in cartel-related violence across Zacatecas that included the death of two police officers who were found hanging from a bridge this past Wednesday. Mexico’s president acknowledged on Friday that there remained a security problem in the region and that his administration was “making an effort” and looking into the violence in Zacatecas. Authorities have not been able to connect the death of the two police officers to the bloody shootout at this time.

The Mexican cartels have additionally caused a “tidal wave” of dangerous drug flow to the U.S. this year, the Drug Enforcement Administration told The New York Post recently. They said that the cartels have “strategically expanded” their distribution of synthetic meth and fentanyl, and that the dangerous drugs are currently flooding Northeastern areas like New York.  

Let’s hope this gruesome violence can stop soon.