Mexican drug gang dumped 49 headless bodies on a highway near Monterrey in one of the country’s worst atrocities affiliated with drug cartel violence in recent years.
Monterrey, Mexico / NationalTurk – The mutilated and decapitated corpses of 43 men and 6 women, whose hands and feet had also been cut off, were found in a pile on a highway in the municipality of Cadereyta Jimenez in the early hours of Sunday, according to reports from the state of Nuevo Leon.
The headless corpses, whose hands had been cut off to prevent fingerprint identification, were discovered close to the northern Mexican city of Monterrey, 180 kilometers from the US Mexico border.
Forensic experts are still examining the area of the gory scene where dozens of bodies were found on a highway connecting the northern Mexican metropolis of Monterrey to the U.S. border in the town of San Juan near the city of Monterrey, Mexico. The bodies showed signs of decay, indicating they may have been dead for days, Nuevo Leon Attorney General Adrian de la Garza said. He noted there had been no mass disappearances reported in the state, so the victims could have died elsewhere.
Mexican investigators on early Monday searched for perpetrators of a heinous drug-war massacre in which 49 people were killed, decapitated, dismembered and left in plastic bags on the side of a rural highway. The headless victims have not been identified yet.
Jorge Domene, a public safety spokesman for the state of Nuevo Leon, states the victims comprised 43 men and 6 women, and the bodies had been stacked up at the roadside. ‘ The grisly find was part of what has been happening in the country in general,’ said Domene, pointing to other mass killings. ‘ It is a continuation of what has already happened recently in Nuevo Laredo, a few weeks ago in Jalisco and a few months ago in Veracruz.’
‘ What’s complicating the identification of all the people was that they were all headless,’ added Jorge Domene, who said the other body parts of the victims were missing.
Zeta gang claimed responsibility for 49 decapitated bodies found near Monterrey, Mexico
Adrian de la Garza, a prosecutor in Nuevo Leon state, reports that some of the bodies in Sunday’s shocking discovery were naked and their hands had been cut off, though Mexican forensic experts were collecting DNA samples.
A note was found at the scene in which the Zetas — a gang set up by ex-commandos who deserted in the 1990s — claimed responsibility. Domene confirmed that the brutal Zetas drug gang claimed responsibility for the murders in a message found at the scene.
Initial probes point out that the victims of an possible Mexican drug cartel conflictwere killed up to 48 hours earlier in a different location, having likely been transported by truck to where they were found.
The massacre was the latest in a string of mass slayings that have convulsed Mexico in recent months, many of them in the north of the country, where the Zetas have waged a war against rival groups for control of smuggling routes.
The gruesome discovery came just days after police found the dismembered, decapitated bodies of 18 people in two abandoned vehicles in western Mexico, in what appeared to be a revenge killing involving powerful drug gangs.
Many of the bodies are reported to be tattooed, which could offer a clue to their identities. The dead may have been migrants passing through Mexico to the United States, he added. Migrants have been targeted by criminal drug cartels and gangs in the past. Violent street gangs in Central America such as the Maras have distinctive tattoos, though security spokesman Domene said the victims did not show these markings.
Mexican Drug Cartels Murders : Decapitated bodies are being dumped nationwide in Mexico
Just a few days earlier, there were 23 killings in the city of Nuevo Laredo, in Tamaulipas state, which borders the United States, with nine people found hanging from a bridge and 14 others decapitated.
On Friday, gunmen attacked the offices of El Manana newspaper in Nuevo Laredo, even though the newspaper long ago stopped reporting on cartel violence out of fear.
The gunmen sprayed the building with high-caliber ammunition and tossed a homemade grenade at the building as the news staff worked to finish the next morning’s edition. Amazingly, no injuries were reported.
In Tamaulipas, the cartels are fighting for control of a corridor that leads to US Interstate 35, a highway known as one of the most lucrative routes for drug and human smugglers.
Authorities have blamed much of the deadly violence on battles between the Zetas and groups allied to the Sinaloa Federation of Mexico’s most wanted drug lord, Joaquin ‘ El Chapo ‘ Guzman.
The state of Veracruz has become a battleground between the Zetas and Guzman’s Sinaloa grouping, and journalists have also been targeted.
Domene said some had tattoos of Santa Muerte, or “Holy Death,” a female skeletal grim reaper venerated by both gangs and some broader, non-criminal sections of Mexican society.
The corpses were taken to Monterrey and authorities said they would perform DNA tests. Thousands of Mexico’s drug war victims have never been identified.
Last week, the dismembered bodies of three photographers and a news company employee were found, wrapped in plastic bags, in a canal in the metropolitan area of Veracruz, a port city on the Gulf of Mexico.
Several days earlier the Veracruz state correspondent of the national weekly news magazine Proceso was found strangled in her home.
Late last year, 96 bodies were dumped in public squares and alongside roads in the eastern state in a three-week period, with most of the killings attributed to the rivalry between the Sinaloa cartel and the Zetas.
More than 50,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon launched an all-out war against the nation’s drug gangs on taking office in December 2006.
Earlier this month, 15 bodies were also discovered on the road to Chapala, Mexico, a popular retirement community for US citizens in Jalisco
The Zetas gang was founded by deserters from the Mexican army who became enforcers for the Gulf cartel, which once dominated the drug trade in northeastern Mexico and between USA. Leaders of the Zetas later split from their employers and the two gangs have since fought for control of trafficking routes.
Mexico Drug cartel war : A Ruthless war between Zetas and Sinaloa cartel
The Zetas have also been at war with the powerful Sinaloa cartel on the other side of the country.
President Felipe Calderon has staked his reputation on bringing Mexico’s drug gangs to heel, sending in the army to fight them shortly after taking office in December 2006.
But the violence has spiraled since, and more than 50,000 people have fallen victim to the conflict, eroding support for Calderon’s conservative National Action Party (PAN), which looks likely to lose power in presidential elections on July 1.
A poll published on Sunday showed PAN presidential candidate Josefina Vazquez Mota trailing front-runner Enrique Pena Nieto of the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) by 19 points with just seven weeks to go.
The commercial hub of Monterrey was long a bastion of the PAN, and the local business community has been “livid” about the violence engulfing the city, stated George W. Grayson, a Mexico expert at the College of William and Mary in Virginia.
‘ This puts the final nail in the coffin of the PAN in the presidential contest,’ he said after the latest atrocity with 49 peoples headless bodies had been found.
Surveys indicate voters think that the PRI, which ruled Mexico for 71 years until 2000, is more likely to quell the violence. Its long rule was tainted by corruption and critics have accused the PRI of making deals with cartels to maintain order.
Mexico’s Monterrey has been ravaged by drug war
Monterrey is Mexico’s most affluent city and was long seen as a model of economic development in Latin America. But the northern Mexican city has been ravaged by the endless drug war over the last three years.
The horrifying conflict has been marked by an escalation of mass slaughter in recent weeks.
Last Wednesday, 18 people were found decapitated and dismembered near Mexico’s second-largest city, Guadalajara.
A week earlier, the bodies of nine people were found hanging from a bridge and 14 others found dismembered in the city of Nuevo Laredo, just across the U.S. border from Laredo in Texas.
Shorty Guzman, the most wanted man in Mexico leads the Sinaloa cartel, foes of Zetas
Security analyst Alberto Islas said much of the recent spike in violence was the result of fighting over cocaine supplies from South America between the Zetas and the Sinaloa cartel, led by Joaquin ‘ Shorty ‘ Guzman, Mexico’s most wanted man.
Increased pressure on Guzman’s operations in Colombia in 2012 had prompted the Sinaloa cartel to buy up a bigger share of cocaine from Peru and Ecuador, squeezing the Zetas’ supply and sparking tit-for-tat attacks among the gangs, Islas added.
The fact that state and federal authorities had time and again failed to capture and prosecute those responsible for the brutality meant the attacks were only getting worse, he stated.
‘ They’re fighting across the whole country with complete impunity,’ he said. ‘ The government has to send out a very clear signal they will stop the violence and find those responsible.’
Late last year, several mass killings took place in the eastern state of Veracruz, which has been ravaged by the Zetas.