At least 24 people, some bearing signs of torture, were killed in a series of incidents over the weekend in Mexico’s violence-plagued southern state of Guerrero, officials have said. Authorities found nine bodies — five of which were dismembered — on a road, officials said Monday, after two sailors were discovered dead elsewhere in the state over the weekend.
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Faced with an uptick in bloodshed the state governor held an “urgent session” with army commanders and federal and state police in an effort to strengthen security in the region, the state’s security spokesman Roberto Alvarez told a Mexican television channel.
“The bodies of nine males with visible signs of torture” were discovered on Sunday night on a road between the towns of Tixtla and Atliaca, in Guerrero’s central region, the state’s secretary of security said in a statement.
Agents at the local prosecutors office reported finding “four bodies tied at the feet and hands,” and noted that authorities also recovered five black plastic bags containing the remains of five more people.
Those five bodies had been dismembered, with some of the body parts found outside the bags, a Tixtla police commander told AFP, requesting anonymity for security reasons. Authorities are taking steps to identify the individuals.
Meanwhile at least 10 people died in Guerrero’s Pacific resort of Acapulco during a weekend of bloodshed, including two members of the Navy, said Roberto Alvarez Heredia, spokesman for Guerrero state’s security coordination group.
The southern state has suffered years of drug cartel violence as gangs grow marijuana and opium poppies in remote mountains and battle for control of heroin trafficking routes.
Acapulco, once a glamorous getaway in Guerrero for Hollywood celebrities, is now considered Mexico’s murder capital, with 111 homicides per every 100,000 residents last year.
In September, a top Guerrero police official and his female companion were stabbed to death in Acapulco. More than 170,000 people have been killed and over 28,000 more have been reported missing in Mexico since the government launched an all-out military assault on drug trafficking in 2006, official data shows.