Fourteen bodies dumped by highway in eastern Mexico
June 14th 2012 · 6 Comments
(Reuters) – Fourteen bodies were found inside an abandoned truck along a highway in eastern Mexico, local police said on Tuesday, in what appeared to be the latest atrocity committed by rival drug cartels battling over smuggling routes to the United States.
The discovery in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz is the latest in a series of massacres that have heightened attention on Mexico’s drug violence as the July 1 presidential election approaches.
The Veracruz state attorney general’s office said the bodies were found late on Monday near the border with Tamaulipas state. It took all night to determine how many there were, the attorney general’s office said in a statement. Local media reported that the bodies had been dismembered and packed in plastic bags.
Tamaulipas is one of the bloodiest battlegrounds in Mexico’s drug war, where the Zetas cartel is fighting their former employers, the Gulf Cartel, for trafficking turf.
The battle has stretched into Veracruz state, known for its bustling port and coffee production. Thirty-five bodies were dumped near un upscale shopping center there last September.
Soon after taking office in late 2006, President Felipe Calderon sent the army to the streets to take on the cartels. Since then, more than 55,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence.
Calderon’s conservative National Action Party (PAN) looks likely to lose power as voters’ focus on Mexico’s security problems.
The PAN’s candidate Josefina Vazquez Mota is trailing in third place in most polls, far behind frontrunner Enrique Pena Nieto of the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
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