MEXICO CITY – Organized-crime involvement is suspected in the killings of 17 people in two Mexican states, authorities said Monday.
Officials in the southern Pacific coast state of Guerrero said six people were found dead inside an SUV.
Five of the victims were bound with adhesive tape, while the sixth was wrapped in a black plastic garbage bag and accompanied by a message from the killers, the state Public Safety Office said in a statement.
Separately, two people were gunned down Sunday night inside a pool hall in the town of Ajuchitlan del Progreso.
Though authorities have yet to identify any victims or a motive in either case, the killings bore the hallmarks of organized crime, the statement said.
Nine people were slain in the western state of Sinaloa, a spokesman for the state Attorney General’s Office told Efe Monday.
Four bodies were discovered inside a burned-out SUV in Culiacan, the state capital, the spokesman said, adding that 22 shell casings from an AK-47 assault rifle were collected at the scene.
In the town of Navolato, four people who had been kidnapped elsewhere were found shot to death near a technical training school. Another person turned up dead in the community of El Quemadito.
News of the slayings in Guerrero and Sinaloa followed word that a dozen people were killed over the weekend in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s murder capital.
Police found the bodies of five people who had been gunned down inside a hair salon in the northern border city, the Chihuahua state Attorney General’s Office said.
Police homicide unit officers also found three bodies and a wounded man at a house in Juarez, located just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas.
The wounded man was taken to a hospital, where he died a short time later.
Three other people were killed in separate incidents, the Chihuahua AG’s office said.
Ciudad Juarez has witnessed more than 5,000 murders since 2008 and this year’s death toll stands at more than 1,600.
The vast majority of the killings in Juarez and Chihuahua are attributed to a bitter turf battle among drug cartels and the related conflict between the criminals and the security forces.
Some 25,000 people have died in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon declared war on Mexico’s cartels shortly after taking office in December 2006.
More than 7,000 gangland killings have occurred so far this year in Mexico, Attorney General Arturo Chavez Chavez said recently.
The death toll for all of 2009 was 7,724. EFE