Forty-nine bodies with their heads, hands and feet hacked off were found Sunday dumped on a northern Mexico highway leading to the Texas border in what appeared to be the latest carnage in an escalating war between Mexico's two dominant drug cartels.
Local and federal authorities discovered the bodies before dawn scattered in a pool of blood at the entrance to the town of San Juan, on a highway leading from the metropolis of Monterrey to the border city of Reynosa. A white stone arch welcoming visitors was spray-painted with black letters: "100% Zeta."
Nuevo Leon state security spokesman Jorge Domene said at a news conference that the 43 men and six women would be hard to identify because of the lack of heads, hands and feet. The bodies were being taken to a Monterrey auditorium for DNA tests.
The victims could have been killed as long as two days ago at another location, then transported to San Juan, a town in the municipality of Cadereyta, about 105 miles (175 kilometers) west-southwest of McAllen, Texas, and 75 miles (125 kilometers) southwest of the Roma, Texas, border crossing, state Attorney General Adrian de la Garza said.
Only one couple looking for their missing daughter visited the morgue in Monterrey where autopsies were being performed on the mutilated bodies Sunday, a state police investigator said. Read more