Mexico: Headless Bodies of 12 Men Found
MEXICO - Authorities have found the decapitated bodies of 12 men in the southern state of Guerrero, a major tourist destination which includes the city of Acapulco. All bodies have not yet been identified, but a number of them are soldiers.
Nine bodies were found on a major boulevard in the state capital, Chilpancingo, just a few hundred metres from where the state governor participated in a traditional religious procession later in the day amid heavy security.
The bodies were found spread along the length of the boulevard, and nearby a sign was found that read "for every one of mine that you kill, I will kill 10." Nine heads, some gagged with tape, were found in a bag nearby.
Local prosecutors said three more decapitated bodies were found in a village on the outskirts of Chilpancingo.
Two other severed heads were found on the same boulevard in Chilpancingo on Dec. 7 alongside a sign reading: "Soldiers who are supposedly fighting crime, and they turn out to be kidnappers. This is going to happen to you."
Decapitation has become a tactic used in Mexico by drug cartels fighting off rival traffickers, police and troops. Authorities wouldn't say whether the remains found Sunday were drug related.
In August, the headless bodies of 12 men were found in the state of Yucatan. That month, Yucatan's governor said the killings appeared to be the result of disputes between drug cartels.
Against the backdrop of bloodshed, Mexican leaders are scrambling to combat drug crimes. On Friday, the United States and Mexico pledged to reaffirm their commitment against drug trafficking.
Top officials from both countries met at the U.S. State Department to discuss a $1.4 billion U.S. initiative to help Mexico fight drug trafficking and organized crime.
The U.S. Congress recently approved an initial $197 million, which the Bush administration made available to Mexico earlier this month.