At least 18 people were killed in drug-related violence in several Mexican states, officials said.
Nine of the murders occurred in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, where six men died in shootouts between rival gangs, the state information office, known as the CIO, said.
Gunmen clashed around midnight Sunday near the limits of the cities of San Fernando and Mendez, leaving five dead. A sixth man was killed in a shootout in the city of Hidalgo.
Three other people were shot to death near the U.S. border.
The bodies of two of the victims, a man and a woman, were found inside a vehicle in Rancherias de Camargo, while a man’s body was discovered in the city of Miguel Aleman.
About 30 people were murdered in Tamaulipas in the first 10 days of May in incidents linked to the ongoing turf war between the Gulf drug cartel and Los Zetas, the criminal organization’s erstwhile armed wing.
Several murders were reported in other states in northern and southeastern Mexico.
A 33-year-old man was gunned down in the border state of Chihuahua, prosecutors said.
Edgar Raul Chaparro Ponce was killed at 11:00 p.m. Sunday while driving in a car with a 16-year-old boy, who was wounded, the Chihuahua state Attorney General’s Office said, without providing details on where the shooting occurred.
Andres Vargas Menchaca, 28, and an unidentified person were killed a few minutes later, the AG’s office said, without providing details about the location of the shooting.
The bodies of four unidentified men were found in the cargo compartment of an SUV in a residential area in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s murder capital, the AG’s office said.
Unofficial sources said the four men were abducted last week during a wedding at a church in Juarez, located just across the border from El Paso, Texas.
Officials, however, have not said whether the bodies are those of the groom and other members of the wedding party kidnapped last Friday.
The bodies were found after residents noticed a foul odor and called police.
The SUV containing the bodies was abandoned in front of a park in Virreyes, a residential neighborhood in the northern section of the border city.
Ciudad Juarez, where more than 5,000 people have been murdered since 2008, has been plagued by drug-related violence for years.
The murder rate took off in the border city of 1.5 million people in 2007, when more than 800 people were killed, then it more than doubled to 1,623 in 2008, according to press tallies, with the number of killings soaring to 2,635 last year.
The death toll for this year currently stands at nearly 900, including 16 people massacred on Jan. 31 while attending a birthday party in the Villas de Salvarcar neighborhood.
The Juarez and Sinaloa cartels, backed by hitmen from local street gangs, have been fighting for control of the border city.
Police in Cancun, a Caribbean resort city in Quintana Roo state, said two decapitated bodies were found early Monday.
The first body was found in a trash bag, with the head and a message left nearby.
A “narcomessage” warning rival drug traffickers was also left with the second body found in Cancun.