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11 bodies found in Mexico, some with torture signs

world Updated: Apr 05, 2009 09:15 IST

AP
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Eleven people were found shot to death around Mexico, some bearing signs of torture and left with threatening messages emblematic of drug violence.

Four of the victims were found in a car in the western city of Apatzingan, along with a message threatening the Zetas, a group of hitmen for the Gulf cartel. The message was signed La Familia, a drug gang battling for territory in western Michoacan state.

Another slain man was found in the western port city of Lazaro Cardenas, also with a threatening message from La Familia to the Zetas.

A sixth man was found on a highway in the city of Morelia. He had been shot in the head three times and left with a T-shirt pulled over his head and his hands handcuffed behind his back. A seventh was found shot to death in the town of Tacambaro.

La Familia was once considered aligned with the powerful Gulf cartel, but it was named as a separate gang in a government list of most-wanted drug trafficking suspects released last month.

President Felipe Calderon’s government has attributed fractures in the cartels to a military crackdown, saying the arrest of drug kingpins has set off internal battles for control that have led to Mexico’s sharp surge in drug-related violence.