CHILPANCINGO, Mexico – Two dismembered bodies were found by police early Tuesday in front of a children’s museum in Chilpancingo, the capital of the southern Mexican state of Guerrero, police spokesmen told Efe.
State police received a call that two naked bodies with the heads, arms and legs cut off had been dumped in front of the La Avispa Museum.
The dismembered bodies were left near the part of the building that contains two mechanical dinosaurs.
The two heads were left with a message, whose content has not been revealed, signed by the Nuevo Cartel de la Sierra.
The cartel, which is based in Guerrero, has dumped dozens of bodies in the streets of Chilpancingo in the past two months.
Two decapitated bodies were found hanging off a bridge on Aug. 24 in Chilpancingo.
The grisly display was left on the Highway of the Sun, which links the Pacific tourist resort of Acapulco to Mexico City.
A message signed by the Nuevo Cartel de la Sierra was left with the bodies.
Officials say they know little about the criminal organization, whose messages indicate that it is dedicated to killing extortionists, robbers, auto thieves, informants and all those who do not “align themselves with the cartel.”
Guerrero has been the scene of a war between the drug gang led by Edgar Valdez Villarreal, who was arrested by Federal Police on Aug. 30, and the Beltran Leyva cartel, which is led by Hector Beltran Leyva.
Valdez Villarreal, known as “La Barbie,” is a native of Laredo, Texas, whose nickname refers to his leading-man good looks.
The 37-year-old Valdez Villarreal began his criminal career as a hired gun in Nuevo Laredo, just across the border from his hometown, and by the early 2000s rose to become the head of security for Sinaloa cartel chief Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman.
After running the cartel’s operations in Nuevo Laredo and Monterrey, Mexico’s wealthiest city, Valdez Villarreal was sent to Guerrero, where the Sinaloa outfit’s interests were overseen by Arturo Beltran Leyva.
Valdez Villarreal quickly became the chief enforcer for Beltran Leyva and decided to follow Arturo and his brothers when they left the Sinaloa cartel in 2008 to set up their own organization.
The split led to a spate of grisly gangland killings and some of Valdez Villarreal’s victims turned up beheaded on beaches in Acapulco.
Valdez Villarreal and Arturo Beltran Leyva narrowly escaped arrest last December when security forces stormed a party in Cuernavaca, Morelos, a popular weekend destination for residents of Mexico City.
Days later, Beltran Leyva died in a shootout with marines at an exclusive condo in Cuernavaca. Some suspect Valdez Villarreal betrayed his boss to the authorities.
The organization created by brothers Arturo, Mario Alberto, Carlos, Alfredo and Hector Beltran Leyva smuggles cocaine, marijuana and heroin and has lucrative sidelines in people trafficking, money laundering, extortion, kidnapping, contract killings and arms smuggling.
Two weeks after Arturo was killed, Carlos Beltran Leyva was arrested on Dec. 30 in Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state, leaving Hector in nominal charge of the cartel.
Valdez Villarreal, however, launched his own bid for control of the gang, sparking another round of bloodletting in Guerrero and Morelos states.
In one of the latest episodes, the bodies of four mutilated and decapitated men were found Aug. 22 hanging from a bridge in Cuernavaca, Morelos officials said.
Left near the victims was a note warning that the same fate would befall anyone who supports “the traitor Edgar Valdez Villarreal, alias ‘La Barbie.’”
Some 28,000 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 last month.
The death toll for all of 2009 was 7,724. EFE