Police found 12 bodies early Monday inside an SUV abandoned in San Ignacio, a town in the northwestern Mexican state of Sinaloa, officials said.
The bodies of the victims, who appear to have been tortured, were covered with cardboard and blankets, state police chief Jesus Antonio Aguilar Iñiguez told Efe.
The victims were kidnapped on Sunday afternoon in Vado Hondo, a community in San Ignacio.
The bodies were discovered inside a 1998 SUV that did not have tags, the police chief said.
State police, Federal Police officers, army troops and Sinaloa Attorney General’s Office crime scene investigators went to the town to recover the bodies and start the investigation.
The bodies will be taken to the coroner’s office in the port city of Mazatlan, the police chief said.
Sinaloa is home to the powerful drug cartel that bears the state’s name.
The Sinaloa cartel, according to intelligence agencies, is a transnational business empire that operates in the United States, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia.
Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman, the cartel’s leader, was captured on Feb. 22 by marines in Mazatlan.
The 57-year-old Guzman, the world’s most notorious and powerful drug lord, was captured without any shots being fired.