Headless, tortured bodies found in Mexico

2014-05-16 22:15
Police officers carry out an operation to rescue a kidnapped person, in Banderilla, a locality within the Xalapa metropolitan area, in the eastern state of Veracruz, Mexico. (STR, AFP)

Police officers carry out an operation to rescue a kidnapped person, in Banderilla, a locality within the Xalapa metropolitan area, in the eastern state of Veracruz, Mexico. (STR, AFP)

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Veracruz - Four decapitated bodies, each showing signs of torture, were exhumed from a mass grave in an eastern Mexico state plagued by drug trafficking, extortion, kidnapping and murder, police said on Friday.

Authorities found the "headless bodies, three men and one women," Thursday in a city in Veracruz state, after an anonymous tip, a police officer told AFP under condition of anonymity because of security concerns.

Two skulls were also found in the pit, presumably corresponding with two of the bodies, the officer said. The victims died about two weeks ago, he added.

The city where the bodies were found, Minatitlan, around 250km south of the Mexican port city of Veracruz, is in Zetas territory.

The cartel traffics in drugs, guns and money laundering, and is also known for kidnapping, extorting and murdering local residents and undocumented migrants crossing through to reach the United States.

Early Thursday, nine suspected members of a criminal gang were killed in another town in Veracruz state, during a clash with soldiers who were conducting an operation against a kidnapping.

Meanwhile, the state capital, Xalapa, was recently the scene of violent clashes between the local police and Zetas members.

The Zetas cartel emerged in the late 1990s, made up of elite military deserters, and now is engaged in fierce struggle with rival gangs.

This week, authorities decided to reinforce the borders of Veracruz to try to prevent the entry of organized crime cells from other states, such as neighbouring Tamaulipas, which is currently suffering a major surge in violence.

Read more on:    mexico  |  narcotics
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