The Jalisco New Generation Cartel is believed to have been responsible for leaving the severed heads of five men on the hood of a taxi in Veracruz yesterday.
The grisly discovery followed an anonymous call to municipal police headquarters in the town of Tlacotalpan. The Nissan Tsuru taxi cab had been left on the highway between Tlacotalpan and nearby Cosamaloapan.
Inside the car were black plastic bags containing the dismembered bodies of the five men, along with a message in which the Jalisco cartel claimed responsibility.
Tlacotalpan Mayor Christian Romero Pérez said the incident was the first “act of insecurity” recorded in the municipality this year, and that his administration will seek to reinforce its municipal police department.
“We’ve got about 20 to 22 officers [and] we want to reach 30 or 35 . . . you know that the issue is always the budget, but we want to grow to 35 . . .” he said.
According to National Public Security System statistics, Veracruz recorded the second highest number of kidnappings in the first 11 months of last year, and was third in gang-related homicides.
Kidnappings totaled 180 and intentional homicides numbered 1,778.
With a preliminary total of 23,101 gang-related homicides, 2017 was the most violent year on record in Mexico, even though official figures and tallies for December have yet to be taken into account.
Nicknamed the “pearl of the Papaloapan,” Tlacotalpan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.