Photo: Mexican Police
Four people were found dead in a vacant lot in this port city on Mexico’s Gulf coast, authorities said.
The bodies were wrapped in plastic, police sources said.
Marines and army troops were quickly deployed to the Dos Caminos district of Veracruz to search for the killers, but their efforts were unsuccessful.
The investigation is being directed by the Veracruz state Attorney General’s Office.
The police force responsible for law and order in Veracruz city was shut down last month as part of a national effort to root out corrupt, abusive and incompetent cops.
Mexican naval personnel are replacing the 900 uniformed municipal cops on a temporary basis.
The Veracruz-Boca del Rio Intermunicipal Police serves a metropolitan area of around 700,000 people that has been rocked in recent months by a bloody turf war among rival drug cartels.
Residents were stunned on Sept. 20 by the discovery of 35 bodies dumped on a busy thoroughfare in Boca del Rio, home to tourist hotels and affluent residential areas.
A week later, 32 bodies were found at three cartel “safe houses” in the metro area.
Within days of taking office in December 2006, President Felipe Calderon gave Mexico’s armed forces the leading role in the struggle with drug cartels, a policy that has been accompanied by intensifying violence and 50,000 deaths.
The military has replaced local police in several crime-plagued municipalities.
Mexican soldiers and marines also carry out mass arrests of police suspected of colluding with organized crime, but those dramatic, high-profile operations have led to few prosecutions.