CANCUN, Mexico – Police found the bodies of two men near the entrance to a water park in the hotel district in Cancun, Mexico’s leading Caribbean tourist destination, officials said.
The bodies of the men, who had been tortured, were found around 8:00 a.m. Sunday near a water park owned by Palace Resorts, the public safety secretary of the city of Benito Juarez, Jesus Aiza Kaluf, said.
The bodies were discovered at kilometer 25 of the access road to the Wet’n Wild water park, which is close to the international airport, police said.
Indications are that the victims were murdered somewhere else and then dumped near the water park, police said.
The unidentified men, who are between 40 and 45, were bound, had their faces wrapped with duct tape and were tortured, investigators said.
The killers left a “narcomessage” with the body that claimed the murders were carried out by the Gulf drug cartel.
The Gulf cartel, one of Mexico’s oldest drug trafficking organizations, was founded by Juan Nepomuceno Guerra in the 1970s and was later led by Juan Garcia Abrego, who was arrested in 1996 and extradited to the United States.
Osiel Cardenas Guillen took over the cartel’s leadership in July 1999, but he was arrested in 2003. He continued running the Gulf cartel, one of the most violent criminal organizations in Mexico, until his extradition to the United States on Jan. 20, 2007.
He was succeeded by his brother, Antonio Ezequiel, known as “Tony Tormenta.”
Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen was killed in a shootout with marines on Nov. 5, 2010.
Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sanchez, the Gulf cartel’s top boss and one of the most-wanted men in Mexico and the United States, was captured by marines on Sept. 12.
Costilla Sanchez, known as “El Coss,” was arrested at a house in Tampico, a port city in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas.
The Gulf cartel is no longer as powerful as it was in the past, partly because of its break with Los Zetas, the criminal organization’s former armed wing, which severed ties with the cartel in 2010 and now runs its own narcotics trafficking business.
The Gulf organization, which mainly deals in cocaine, synthetic drugs and marijuana, mostly operates in northern Mexico and the country’s eastern coastal areas.
The cartel, like other Mexican criminal organizations, has expanded into kidnappings and extortion rackets, targeting businesses.
Cancun, Mexico’s leading Caribbean tourist destination, draws foreign visitors, the majority from the United States, year round. EFE