Narco wars leave trail of bodies across Mexico’s southwest

Eleven people were found shot to death around Mexico April 4, some bearing signs of torture and left with threatening “narco-messages.” Four of the victims were found in a car in Apatzingán, Michoacán, along with a message threatening the Zetas, the paramilitary arm of the Gulf Cartel. The message was signed “La Familia,” Michoacán’s reigning crime machine.

Another slain man was found in the Michoacán port city of Lazaro Cardenas, also with a threatening message from La Familia to the Zetas. A sixth man was found on a highway in Morelia, Michoacán’s capital. He had been shot in the head three times and left with a T-shirt pulled over his head and his hands cuffed behind his back. A seventh was found shot to death in the town of Tacambaro, in the Michoacán highlands.

Four other bodies were found around Guerrero, the next state down the coast from Michoacán, including two men left in the trunk of a car in the resort town of Zihuatanejo. The two were blindfolded and had their hands tied behind their backs. Another man was found burned on a highway linking Mexico City to the resort city of Acapulco and a fourth died in a shootout in Chilpancingo, Guerrero’s cpaital.

On April 3, Alberto Rayas Rodriguez, chief homicide detective in western Jalisco state, was killed when the two gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on his car. Last month, Rayas Rodriguez had participated in the dismantling of a presumed local Zetas cell that led to the arrest of five suspects. (AP, La Jornada, April 4)

On March 30, what was described as an armed “commando” attacked a municipal police patrol car in Apatzingán with machine guns and grenades, leaving three police injured. The assailants all escaped. (Milenio, March 30)

See our last post on Mexico’s narco wars.

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