At least 15 people were murdered last weekend in Sinaloa, a state in northwestern Mexico, state officials said.
The worst incident occurred in Camainero, a community in the city of Mocorito, where six people were shot dead at a party early Sunday, a Sinaloa Attorney General’s Office spokesman said.
Gunmen opened fire on six people who were among the dozens attending a family party in Camainero, located about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa.
Five people were pronounced dead at the scene and a sixth person died while being transported to a hospital, officials said.
“There is still no explanation for the motive,” the AG’s office spokesman said, adding that drug traffickers may be involved “because of the characteristics and type of high-powered weapons used.”
Four people were gunned down in Villa Juarez, a town in southwestern Sinaloa, officials said.
The bodies of five other people were found over the weekend in different parts of Culiacan.
Sinaloa is home to the drug cartel led by Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman, who was arrested in Guatemala in 1993 and pulled off a Hollywood-style jailbreak when he escaped from the Puente Grande maximum-security prison in the western state of Jalisco on Jan. 19, 2001.
The Sinaloa organization, sometimes referred to by officials as the Pacific cartel, is the oldest drug cartel in Mexico and Guzman, considered extremely violent, is one of the most-wanted criminals in Mexico and the United States, where the Drug Enforcement Administration has offered a reward of $5 million for him.
Sinaloa, the birthplace of many of Mexico’s drug lords, is currently the scene of a bloody turf war between Guzman and the Beltran Leyva cartel, which arose as a splinter group of the Sinaloa organization.