Photo: 30 Criome Victims Found throughout Mexico
The remains of 30 suspected victims of drug-related violence have been discovered over the past day and a half in three different parts of Mexico, including 11 bodies in a clandestine grave in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz and 14 others in the country’s northeast region.
The group of 14 victims was found Saturday morning inside an abandoned cargo truck at a shopping center parking lot in Mante, a town in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, authorities said.
A spokesperson for the state Attorney General’s Office told Efe that municipal employees discovered the corpses of the 10 men and four women along with a threatening message directed at the Gulf cartel.
The grisly discovery marked the second time in less than a month that dismembered bodies have been found in the downtown section of Mante.
On June 7, 14 bodies were found inside a vehicle in front of the mayor’s office with a threatening message for the Gulf cartel’s main rival, Los Zetas.
The Zetas, considered Mexico’s most violent criminal organization, used to be on the Gulf cartel’s payroll but they broke away from their former bosses and now control several lucrative territories.
Separately, military spokespersons and local authorities confirmed that the skeletal remains of 11 people were found in the town of Lerdo de Tejada alongside a road leading to the Gulf of Mexico.
They said members of the Navy Secretariat arrived at the scene early Friday and cordoned off the zone to unearth the remains.
The excavation work at the clandestine grave concluded Friday afternoon.
Considering their advanced state of decomposition, investigators said in a preliminary report that the bodies had likely been buried for months.
The state of Veracruz has been mired in an intense wave of violence stemming from a turf war involving three drug cartels and constant police and army operations to combat the gangs.
Last Sunday, seven suspected cartel gunmen were killed in an armed clash with police and army soldiers in that same state.
Elsewhere, the dismembered bodies of three men and two women were found Saturday in the western town of Tepalcatepec, a spokesperson with the Michoacan state Attorney General’s Office said.
The bodies, which bore signs of severe torture, were found Saturday morning inside plastic bags on a bridge linking Tepalcatepec with the nearby town of Buenavista Tomatlan, the spokesperson said.
A message was left with the bodies but authorities did not reveal its content to the media.
Tepalcatepec is located in the Tierra Caliente region that straddles the states of Michoacan, Guerrero and Mexico and is known for its sweltering heat.
That region has been the scene of bloody turf battles for control of the production of narcotics such as marijuana, heroin and crystal meth.
Michoacan’s more than 270-kilometer (170-mile) Pacific coastline also in an entry point for cocaine that is shipped in from South America and bound for the United States.
President Felipe Calderon militarized the struggle against Mexico’s drug cartels shortly after taking office in December 2006, deploying tens of thousands of soldiers and Federal Police officers across the country to combat drug cartels and other criminal organizations.
The death toll in Mexico’s drug war stands at more than 50,000 since 2006.