View attachment 22435 SUSPECTED drug traffickers drove two trucks to a main avenue in a Mexican city and dumped 35 dead bodies during rush hour while gunmen stood guard and pointed their weapons at frightened motorists.
The gruesome scene in downtown Boca del Rio was the latest escalation in drug violence in Veracruz state, which sits on an important route for drugs and Central American migrants heading north.
The Zetas drug cartel has been locked in a bloody war with drug gangs for control of the state.
Veracruz state Attorney General Reynaldo Escobar Perez said the bodies were left piled in two trucks and on the ground at an underpass near the city's biggest shopping mall and its statue of the Voladores de Papantla - ritual dancers from Veracruz state.
The victims, 23 men and 12 women, according to a legal official, included at least two minors and two with no criminal records who had been reported missing, Escobar said.
``Almost all had criminal histories linked to organised crime like kidnapping, extortion, murder, drug trafficking (or) car theft,'' he said.
Most had been suffocated, some were strangled and one had been shot.
Motorists caught in the horrifying scene posted message on Twitter warning that masked gunmen in military uniforms were blocking Manuel Avila Camacho Boulevard and pointing their guns at civilians.
'They don't seem to be soldiers or police,' one tweet read. Another said: 'Don't go through that area, there is danger.'
Escobar said police were reviewing surveillance video recorded in the area.
The discovery was among the most gruesome incidents of suspected drug violence around Veracruz city and the eponymous state in recent months.
Mexican media said a message lying near the bodies carried threats to the Zetas drug gang, which has been fighting for control of drug and human trafficking routes in the area.
Escobar declined to comment further, but a top Interior Ministry official said on Tuesday that the killings were probably sparked by a revenge attack between criminal gangs.
The Zetas, a gang set up by ex-elite soldiers turned hired killers, are suspected of organising prison escapes to recruit gunmen for their battles against rival gangs and the Mexican military.
The Courier-Mail September 22, 2011 6:34AM
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Drug traffickers dump 35 bodies on road in rush hour in Mexico