VERACRUZ, Mexico – The dismembered bodies of five people were found on top of an abandoned taxi in the eastern Mexican city of Tlacotalpan, authorities said on Friday.
The macabre scene was spotted around 1:30 am, police said in a statement.
Victims’ body parts were wrapped up in plastic trash bags sitting on the hood of the car. Their severed heads were on the trunk.
The bodies were accompanied by a message claiming responsibility for the multiple-murder on behalf of the Jalisco Nueva Generacion drug cartel.
Tlacotalpan is located in the south-central part of the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, where 1,788 homicides were committed in the first 11 months of 2017, the third-highest total among Mexico’s 32 states.
Authorities attribute most of those killings to score-settling among criminal organizations.
Drug-related killings have increased in the state since Miguel Angel Yunes Linares became governor in December 2016.
With statistics still pending for December, a nationwide total of 23,101 murders made 2017 Mexico’s deadliest year in two decades.
Violence among drug cartels and between criminals and the security forces has claimed more than 200,000 lives in Mexico in the last decade.