This story will be updated and revised as more information becomes available. Notimex is now saying as many as 40 have been found. Updated at 1131 CDT, death toll increases to 49. Updated at 1239 hrs CDT revising information on the victims. Revised at 1347 hrs with quotes and information from Nuevo Leon state SSP spokesman.
By Chris Covert
A total of 49 unidentified individuals were found dead early Sunday morning on a highway east of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, according to Mexican news accounts.
According to a Sunday morning post on the website of Milenio news daily, the find was made at Kilometer 47 on Mexico Federal Highway 40,which leads to Reynosa, Tamaulipas. Police were dispatched to the area based on a telehpone call. Mexican Policia Federal agents were the first on the scene and found several black garbage bags containing the remains of 49 individuals. The actual location is 10 kilometers east of Cadereyta, near the village of San Juan. Cadereyta itself is about seven kilometers east of Monterrey.
|Foto: de El Excelsior|
Milenio reported late that six women and 43 men were among the dead. Previous reports had said a narcomanta left at the scene had been removed, but reportedly said "100 percent Zetas" Another Associated Press dispatched said that the victims were migrants heading to the United States. A late revised report on the website of Milenio said the some of the victims had the facial features of individuals from South America. The report also said the narcomanta had the symbol of Los Zetas only, probably the letter Z, suggesting Los Zetas likely committed the crime.
A late report from El Universal news daily quoted Jorge Domene, spokesman for the Nuevo Leon state Secretaria de Seguridad Pública (SSP), as saying that some of the victims had gang tattoos, suggesting the deaths were a settling of accounts between gangs. He also said that most of the victims had been killed two days prior to their discovery.
Nuevo Leon attorney general Adrian de la Garza, said that that he has reports of a sudden increase of abductions in the area.
Some of the bodies left at the scene were already in a state of decomposition. The report also said spent shell casings were found at the scene, suggesting some of the victims were killed at the scene.
The municipality of Cadereyta-Jiminez is at the terminus of a bypass from Mexico Federal Highway 85 -- which goes to Monterrey proper -- to the east of Monterrey. The road starts in Allende. The area around the intersection in Cadereya has been the scene of several shootouts between Mexican security forces and drug cartel gangs which operate in the area.
Recent similar bloody incidents have taken place in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, essentially the home of Los Zetas drug cartel in which members from both the Los Zetas and gangs affiliated with the Gulf and Sinaloa Cartels have have killed and mutilated the bodies of their rivals in grisly fashion.
El Excelsior reported the highway, closed since 0400 hrs, opened at around 1000 hrs.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com