MEXICO CITY -- The severed heads of eight men were found left in pairs along highways in the northern Mexico state of Durango, state prosecutors said Tuesday.
The bodies had not yet been located, but the victims appeared to have been between 25 and 30 years old, officials said.
Durango has been the scene of brutal turf battles between drug gangs. Prosecutors said over the weekend that officials at a Durango prison let drug cartel gunmen to leave penitentiary and lent them guns and vehicles to carry out executions.
Also Tuesday, prosecutors in the central state of Puebla reported that three federal police agents were shot to death on a highway in a confrontation with gunmen. The assailants escaped.
In the northern border state of Chihuahua, prosecutors said a second cousin of Gov.-elect Cesar Duarte was shot to death by attackers in the city of Parral. The victim, lawyer Alberto Porras Duarte, was slain while waiting in a vehicle outside his office.
One of Duarte's nephews was killed earlier this month in the Chihuahua state capital in what appeared to be a failed kidnapping attempt. The state has been the scene of some Mexico's bloodiest drug violence.
In the border state of Tamaulipas, army officials reported Monday that they had captured nine Guatemalan citizens during patrols against drug trafficking organizations and seized seven grenades and two guns from the suspects.
A day earlier, troops in Tamaulipas detained 11 people believed to work for the Zetas drug gang and seized five rifles.
Almost 25,000 people have died in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon launched an offensive against the cartels in late 2006.
The Associated Press
Tuesday, July 27, 2010