MORELIA, Mexico – Mexican police on Saturday found the charred and dismembered bodies of seven people inside a pick-up truck in Venustiano Carranza, a town in the southwestern state of Michoacan, officials said.
The state Attorney General’s Office said the bodies were found Saturday morning inside the vehicle on the road linking Venustiano Carranza and the town of Sahuayo.
“The bodies were found in the bed of a white Nissan pick-up truck without license plates that the killers had set on fire,” the AG’s office said, adding that forensic experts found a total of 70 body parts corresponding to seven people at the crime scene.
The remains, which were completely charred, were taken to a coroner’s office for examination and identification.
Federal police, meanwhile, stepped up patrols in Venustiano Carranza, located near Michoacan’s border with the state of Jalisco, where 17 people were found fatally shot earlier this month.
Michoacan has been the scene in recent years of deadly turf battles pitting various drug gangs, including Los Caballeros Templarios, La Familia Michoacana, Jalisco Nueva Generacion and Los Zetas.
That state’s wooded and mountainous terrain and more than 270 kilometers (168 miles) of coastline facilitate the trafficking of narcotics between Central America and the coastal municipalities of Lazaro Cardenas, Aquila and Coahuayana.
Recently, Michoacan Gov. Fausto Vallejo spoke with the governor-elect of Jalisco, Aristoteles Sandoval Diaz, about the need to bolster security on the border between the two states, citing a wave of drug-related homicides and clashes.
That region is one of the flashpoints in a nationwide drug war that has left some 60,000 dead since President Felipe Calderon, whose term ends this year, took office in late 2006.