The Zacatecas governor got an unwanted present for Kings Day: a vehicle with 10 dead bodies abandoned beneath the giant Christmas tree in front of the state government palace in the early hours of the morning.
Governor David Monreal Ávila appeared in a Facebook Live video around 7 a.m. to inform the public of the incident. He said the silver Mazda SUV entered the Plaza de Armas around 5:15 a.m. and was abandoned minutes later. The driver took off running and escaped behind the Basilica Cathedral of Zacatecas, he said.
Authorities initially believed it to be a car accident, before finding the pile of bodies inside the vehicle. The Attorney General’s Office arranged for the vehicle to be towed, and the army and National Guard cordoned off the area for about an hour. Within two hours of the incident, the vehicle had been cleared and authorities vacated the area.
Monreal announced in a video Thursday afternoon that those responsible for the incident had been arrested, but didn’t specify how many people had been detained or any further details.
Initial reports indicated that there were six bodies in the vehicle, but the Security and Citizen Protection Ministry (SSPC) later clarified that there were, in fact, 10 cadavers.
The incident, presumably orchestrated by organized crime, comes after the federal government’s November announcement of the deployment of additional troops to the area as part of a new security plan. The state faces high levels of violence and has been the site of a turf war between the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) since mid-2020.
A number of bodies have been left hanging from bridges and highway overpasses in recent months, a highly visible message that organized crime groups are active in the state.
With reports from Milenio