GUADALAJARA – Seven headless, mutilated bodies have been found in a taxi abandoned near the tourist resort of Manzanillo in western Mexico, apparent victims of the country's epidemic of drug violence, local officials said Sunday.
"They were mutilated, apparently decapitated, and one of the victims was a woman," the port city's police chief Carlos Heredia told AFP.
He said a message left on the vehicle, which was found early Saturday on the road from Manzanillo to the town of Cihuatlan, was signed by the powerful Jalisco New Generation drug cartel.
That cartel is blamed for a surge in murders in the tiny Pacific state of Colima, where Manzanillo is located.
The Colima prosecutor's office said the seven bodies had yet to be identified.
The past six months have seen a surge in killings attributed to disputes within the Jalisco cartel, police records show. The group has also carried out spectacular attacks against federal forces.
On January 16 and 17, six people were shot to death in three separate incidents in Manzanillo. Authorities believe all were linked to organised crime.