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5 dead, including mummified corpse, on Mexico farm

Mexican police found a mummified corpse and four other dead bodies on a farm in the drug-plagued western state of Michoacan on Friday.

world Updated: Jul 04, 2009 11:28 IST

Mexican police found a mummified corpse and four other dead bodies on a farm in the drug-plagued western state of Michoacan on Friday.

Four of the bodies were found in an unmarked grave, and the fifth was discovered inside a farmhouse in the small town of Coatepec de Morelos, federal prosecutors said in a statement. The completely mummified corpse, which was found sitting in a chair, had apparently been dead for some time and was desiccated by the dry air.

Investigators also found a weapons cache, camouflage military uniforms and scattered human bones. Forensic experts were investigating the identities, times and causes of death, officials said.

Michoacan has been a major focus of President Felipe Calderon's war on drug cartels, in which he has deployed roughly 40,000 federal troops nationwide. Also on Friday, police announced the discovery of a decapitated body in the Gulf port of Veracruz.

The body was found on Thursday night with its hands tied, naked and wrapped in a mat on a street corner, said Veracruz investigator Jose Franyutti.

Nearly a dozen people have been killed, several of them beheaded, in Veracruz and nearby Boca del Rio in the past week. Veracruz, one of Mexico's most important ports, has seen increasing drug violence in recent years.

In early June, gunmen kidnapped a top customs official who had launched a new system to check shipping containers at the port. He remains missing.

Meanwhile, Baja California state police announced on Friday that three suspected members of the drug gang led by Teodoro Garcia Simental were arrested in the city of Tecate, including one of Garcia Simental's top aides.

Garcia Simental is a renegade lieutenant of the Arellano Felix cartel wanted for the murder of two federal police and at least eight other crimes in Baja California.

And the Attorney General's Office announced the arrest of eight suspected members of the Sinaloa cartel in the western state of Jalisco, including a man described as "one of the operators closest to" drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

Police found a shipment of pills containing pseudoephedrine, a precursor chemical for methamphetamine, a smaller amount of cocaine and three pistols in the men's possession and in their vehicles, the office said in a statement.

Mexico is suffering a wave of gang violence that has killed more than 10,800 people since Calderon took office in December 2006 and launched a military-led crackdown on drug traffickers.