They are the gruesome images that are testament to the trouble that has hit one Mexican city which has become a flashpoint for the war on drugs.
Two young men, cut down in the prime of their life, were left hanging from a pedestrian bridge as warring drugs cartels continue to fight in Monterrey
One of the men was missing a foot and had been stripped down to just his underwear while the other's clothes were splattered with blood.
Their bodies were discovered early yesterday morning and both had placards that said: 'This happened to them for supporting the CDG [Gulf cartel].'
The manufacturing city where they were found has changed dramatically over the last four years. With a population of 4million people, it has gone from being a model for developing economies to a symbol of Mexico's drug war chaos.
It has been sucked down into a dark spiral of gangland killings, violent crime and growing lawlessness.
Trouble has escalated since late 2006 when President Felipe Calderon launched an army-led war on the cartels. In that time, grenade attacks, beheadings, firefights and drive-by killings have surged.
The city is home to some of Latin America's biggest companies and average incomes are double the Mexican average.
Across the country almost 40,000 people have now been killed since 2006 and Monterrey's violence has risen to the point that questions are being raised over the government's ability to maintain order and ensure its viability.
Although Mexico City has avoided most of the troubles, killings have started in the second city of Guadalajara.
If the cartels were to declare war in the capital, Monterrey's experience shows that Mexico's long-neglected police and judiciary are not equipped to handle it.
Javier Astaburuaga, chief financial officer at Latin American drinks maker, Femsa, said: 'If we can't deal with the problem in Monterrey, with all the resources and the people have here, then it is a serious concern for the rest of Mexico.'
Since the beginning of this year, 600 people have been killed already - in the whole of 2010 there were 620 deaths.
Among them are local mayors, innocent civilians - including a housewife caught in crossfire, a newlywed systems engineer killed by soldiers on his way to work and a young design student who was killed in one of the city's busiest shopping streets.
Hanging people from bridges happens with increasing regularity and is designed to intimidate.
On New Year's eve, gunmen hanged a woman from a road bridge. Severed heads have been dumped outside kindergartens and traffic police have been shot as they guide children across roads.
On two days in April, a record 30 people were killed in shootouts, mainly hitmen and police, but also a student run down and fatally wounded when a police officer fled from gunmen.
By Richard Hartley-parkinson
Mail Online 6th June 2011
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