One of the vehicles discovered near 18 bodies on Friday. One of the vehicles discovered near 18 bodies on Friday.

Cartels’ battle for Zacatecas leaves another 18 dead

Conflict between CJNG and Sinaloa Cartel drives violence in the state

At least 18 people are dead in another episode of violence in Zacatecas.

A battle between rival cartels occurred Friday in the community of San Juan Capistrano in the municipality of Valparaiso, a rural area near the state border with Jalisco and Nayarit.

Security forces found 18 bodies along with three bullet-riddled vehicles at the site of the incident although some local media outlets have reported more than 30 dead.

Zacatecas Security Minister Arturo López said the incident was a confrontation between the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), which are currently battling for control of the state.

The killings in San Juan Capistrano are just the most recent in a string of violent incidents. Last weekend, four bodies were found hanging from highway overpasses in Fresnillo. And Wednesday saw the murder of seven people in a home. Two people were found injured at the scene of the attack, along with five unharmed children.

Also on Wednesday, the bodies of two missing San Luis Potosí police officers were found murdered, hanging from an overpass in the city of Zacatecas, the state capital.

The violence in Zacatecas comes just days after a horrifying episode in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, in which gunmen moved through the city randomly killing civilians, leaving 14 dead. Meanwhile in Michoacán, roughly 3,000 avocado producers have taken up arms to protect themselves against criminal groups including the CJNG.

With reports from AP and El País

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