MEXICO CITY – The bodies of three men and a woman were found Thursday hanging off a bridge in the Mexican Gulf coast city of Tampico, officials said.
The bodies were discovered around 5:30 a.m. in one of the city’s most important business and financial districts.
Soldiers and marines cordoned off the area and removed the bodies from the bridge.
Scenes like this have become common in recent years in Mexico, where drug cartels have used decapitations, massacres and other acts of violence in an attempt to strike fear into rivals and the government.
The northern border state of Tamaulipas, where Tampico is located, has become one of Mexico’s most violent states due to the war between the Gulf cartel and Los Zetas for control of turf and smuggling routes into the United States.
After several years as the armed wing of the Gulf cartel, Los Zetas, considered Mexico’s most violent drug organization, went into the drug business on its own account and now controls several lucrative territories.
Hundreds of people have been murdered since the gang war started in Tamaulipas at the beginning of this year.
Mexico has been plagued in recent years by drug-related violence blamed on powerful cartels.
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.
Last year, according to the El Universal newspaper, was the deadliest in Mexico in the past decade, with 7,724 people killed in gangland violence.
So far this year, according to officials, drug-related violence has claimed the lives of more than 7,000 people.
Mexico’s most powerful drug trafficking organizations, according to experts, are the Sinaloa, Tijuana, Gulf, Juarez, Los Zetas and Beltran Leyva cartels, and La Familia Michoacana. EFE