May 5, 2010
At least seven people, including two police officers, were murdered over the weekend in different parts of Mexico, state officials said.
The bodies of four men were found hanging off bridges early Sunday in Chihuahua city, the capital of the like-named state.
Police recovered the four bodies, which have not been identified.
The killings bore the hallmarks of a hit by one of Mexico’s organized crime groups, which often string up the bodies of dead rivals.
Two police commanders, meanwhile, were gunned down in the central state of Hidalgo.
The chief and deputy chief of the Actopan municipal police department died in a shootout Sunday with suspected members of an organized crime group, the Hidalgo state Attorney General’s Office said.
Gubernatorial elections took place Sunday in 12 states, including Chihuahua, Mexico’s most violent state, and Hidalgo.
Violence was also reported in southern Mexico, where an Indian leader who belonged to the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, was shot dead in Tenejapa, a town in Chiapas state, as he was returning from a political gathering.
Mexico has been plagued in recent years by drug-related violence blamed on powerful cartels.
A classified report provided by the government earlier this year to senators estimated 22,743 people have died since President Felipe Calderon declared war on Mexico’s drug cartels nearly four years ago.
Calderon, who took office in December 2006, has deployed 50,000 soldiers and 20,000 Federal Police officers nationwide to combat drug cartels and other criminal organizations.
The anti-drug operation, however, has failed to put a dent in the violence due, according to experts, to drug cartels’ ability to buy off the police and even high-ranking officials.
Mexico’s most powerful drug trafficking organizations, according to experts, are the Sinaloa, Tijuana, Gulf, Juarez, Los Zetas and Beltran Leyva cartels, and La Familia Michoacana.