Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Six Men Decapitated in Michoacan

Sunday, January 31, 2010 |

Beheaded in Apatzingan marked with the letter Z

Acahuato, Apatzigán, Michoacan .- Authorities found the decapitated bodies of six men Friday in the western Mexico state of Michoacan, a hotspot of drug violence where armed men later ambushed a federal police patrol, killing five officers and wounding seven.

Ministry officials confirmed that six dead people were found killed, all were beheaded and dumped on side of the main road of this town. The bodies, all men had not been identified.

According to official reports, at 0520 hours on Friday morning, neighbors from the township of Acahuato reported to authorities that they had found several headless bodies on the main street to the entrance of the town.

An hour later police and state officials removed the six decapitated torsos along with six heads that belonged to the bodies found. They were all lying on the ground next to each other.

Two of the bodies had the letter "Z" carved on the chest while the heads had the same letter carved on the forehead.

Later Friday, state Public Safety Secretary Minerva Bautista said a group of at least a dozen armed men attacked a federal police convoy, opening fire on the vehicles from a highway overpass near the city of Maravatio. Two of the wounded officers were reported in serious condition.

Michoacan is the cradle of La Familia cartel, which authorities blame for a string of recent beheadings and the killings of police and soldiers.

Also Friday, four severely beaten men were seen walking along a busy street in the Michoacan town of Zamora carrying messages signed by La Familia.

"Society, don't judge us. We're cleaning your city," read one note.

Last week, four men who had been beaten and tortured marched near Zamora's train station carrying similar signs and yelling that they were rapists and thieves.

President Felipe Calderon first launched his crackdown against drug cartels in Michoacan, sending thousands of federal police and soldiers to his home state after taking office in late 2006.

Drug violence has killed more than 15,000 people throughout Mexico since then.

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