MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican police found nine bodies hanging from an overpass Thursday alongside a drug cartel banner threatening rivals, and seven more corpses hacked up and dumped by the road nearby. Just down the road were three more bodies, for a total of 19.
The killing spree reported by prosecutors in the western state of Michoacan marked a return to the grisly massacres carried out by drug cartels at the height of Mexico’s 2006-2012 drug war when piles of bodies were dumped on roadways as a message to authorities and rival gangs.
Two of the bodies hung by ropes from the overpass by their necks, half-naked, were women, as was one of the dismembered bodies found in the city of Uruapan, Michoacan Attorney General Adrián López Solís said at a news conference.
The victims had been shot to death. Some were hung with their hands bound, some with their pants pulled down.
While the banner was not completely legible, it bore the initials of the notoriously violent Jalisco drug cartel and mentioned the Viagras, a rival gang. “Be a patriot, kill a Viagra,” the banner read in part.
In the first half of 2019, Mexico set a record for homicides, with 17,608, up 5.3% compared to the same period of 2018. The country of almost 125 million now sees as many as 100 killings a day nationwide.