The dismembered bodies of nine men were among 16 people assassinated in Veracruz during the weekend in an escalation of violence in the capital city, Xalapa.
The bodies were found Saturday in a vehicle abandoned on a busy street along with at least three threatening messages directed at high-ranking state police officials.
Earlier in the day armed men parked a vehicle across the street from the state judicial headquarters, forced a handcuffed man to get out and killed him with multiple gunshots.
Six other homicides were reported in the municipalities of Acayucan, Coatzacoalcos and Tihuatlán, all linked to organized crime.
Veracruz Governor Miguel Ángel Yunes Linares told a press conference that the 10 victims in Xalapa belonged to a gang known as Los Tigrillos, or Los Tiliches. Identification had been made by tattoos on some of the men. Their murder was a result of infighting between crime gangs, the governor said.
“These were not good people,” he remarked.
Yunes announced that the Army would head up a joint security operation that was to begin yesterday with federal and state police in Xalapa and neighboring communities of Banderilla and San Andrés Tlalnelhuayocan.
Intelligence reports indicate that Veracruz is the stage for a turf war between the Jalisco New Generation, Zetas and Gulf cartels.
According to figures last updated with November 2017 data by the National Public Security System (SNSP), there were over 1,700 reports of violent crime in Veracruz last year, most of them linked to the activities of organized crime.