Investigators searching clandestine graves have found 32 bodies and nine human heads in the southern Mexico state of Guerrero, where authorities say they are battling a wave of drug gang violence.
The grisly discoveries came in the municipality of Zitlala, where a drug gang had set up a rural camp where it held kidnap victims and disposed of its victims’ bodies.
When a joint military-police patrol happened on the camp earlier this week, it found a kidnapped man and what appeared to be clandestine burial pits. Initially investigators reported finding a dozen bodies, but after days of digging, they discovered a total of 32 bodies in 17 pits.
The camp is near the area where nine decapitated bodies were found dumped on a roadside last week. The nine heads found in coolers at the camp may belong to those bodies, investigators said.
The area has been the scene of turf battles between two rival drug gangs — the Rojos and the Ardillos — who engage in extortion, kidnappings and killings. But in recent weeks the violence has spread to other areas, apparently as a result of turf battles between two or three other gangs, including the La Familia and Guerreros Unidos gangs, and a group known as the Tequileros.
Gov. Hector Astudillo condemned what he has called the wave of “barbarism and savagery,” and his office said called the situation “a public disturbance caused by organized crime.”
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