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

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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

Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key Stage 1

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key S...

Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher We have a fantastic special n...

Tradewind Recruitment: History Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an 11-18 all ability co-educat...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee