13 found slain in northeast Mexico
Nuevo Laredo - Troops made a grisly Christmas discovery in northeastern Mexico when they found 13 bodies in a truck, seen as the latest explosion of violence in the battle between warring drug cartels.
Soldiers found two messages at the scene in Tamaulipas state "alluding to the rivalry between criminal groups" in the northeast, the Department of Justice said in a statement.
Investigators say the murders are linked to Friday's discovery of 10 bodies in the town of Tampico Alto, in neighbouring Veracruz state, and attacks by gunmen last week on three buses that left 16 people dead.
Two months ago, the government of President Felipe Calderon sent police and army reinforcements into Veracruz after an escalation in killings attributed to the bloody feud between the Zetas, one of Mexico's most violent cartels, and the Sinaloa cartel, which operates in the area.
The move was part of Calderon's national crackdown on drug cartels launched in December 2006. More than 45 000 people have been killed since then in drug-related violence.