49 bodies found mutilated on Mexico highway in suspected gangland drug killings

 

Forty-nine decapitated and mutilated bodies were found Sunday dumped on a highway connecting the northern Mexican metropolis of Monterrey to the US border in what could be the latest outburst in an escalating war of terror among drug gangs.

Mexico's organized crime groups often abandon multiple bodies in public places as warnings to their rivals, though Nuevo Leon state Attorney General Adrian de la Garza said he did not rule out the possibility that the victims were US-bound migrants.

The bodies of the 43 men and six women were found in the town of San Juan on the non-toll highway to the border city of Reynosa at about 4 a.m. (5 a.m. EDT; 0900 GMT), forcing police and troops to close off the highway. Nuevo Leon state security spokesman Jorge Domene said at a news conference that a banner left at the site bore a message with the Zetas drug cartel taking responsibility for the massacre.

Domene said the fact the bodies were found with the heads, hands and feet cut off will make identification difficult. The bodies were being taken to Monterrey for DNA tests.

De la Garza said the victims could have been killed as long as two days ago at another location, then transported to San Juan, a town in Cadereyta municipality, about 105 miles (175 kilometers) west-southwest of McAllen, Texas, or 75 miles (125 kilometers) southwest of the Roma, Texas, border crossing.

Mexican drug cartels have been waging an increasingly bloody war to control smuggling routes, the local drug market and extortion rackets, including shakedowns of migrants seeking to reach the United States.

A drug gang allied with the Sinaloa cartel left 35 bodies at a freeway overpass in the city of Veracruz in September, and police found 32 other bodies, apparently killed by the same gang, a few days after that. The goal apparently was to take over territory that had been dominated by the Zetas. Twenty-six bodies were found in November in Guadalajara, another territory being disputed by the Zetas and the Sinaloa group.

So far this month, 23 bodies were found dumped or hanging in the city of Nuevo Laredo and 18 were found along a highway south of Guadalajara, Mexico's second-largest city.

In April, police found the mutilated bodies of 14 men in a minivan abandoned in downtown Nuevo Laredo, along with a message from an undisclosed drug gang. Also in April, the tortured and bound bodies of seven men were dumped in the Pacific port city of Lazaro Cardenas along with messages signed by allies of the Sinaloa drug gang.

Officials last year found 183 bodies in mass graves in the Tamaulipas state town of San Fernando. They were believed to have been migrants killed by the Zetas drug cartel. Another 72 migrants, many of them from Central America, were found slain in San Fernando in 2010.

AP

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
News
news
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cover Supervisor

£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam