Hidden graves, severed heads found amid violence, manhunt
ACAPULCO, MEXICO >> Soldiers and police fanned out Friday across the southern Mexican state of Guerrero, chasing a wounded gang leader and trying to quell a wave of violence that included the discovery of hidden graves holding dozens of bodies and a camp where gunmen stored the severed heads of nine rivals in a cooler.
The clashes between drug gangs were complicated by the fact that townspeople fed up with the violence had formed “community police” vigilante squads in many places. The squads often prevent police and soldiers from moving freely and sometimes act on behalf of the gangs.
The state has been riven, not just by the killings, but by the kidnapping of about a dozen people in the town of Ajuchitlan.
The Ajuchitlan residents were apparently kidnapped last week by a fugitive gang leader known as “El Tequilero,” who was believed to be wounded and hiding out with his kidnap victims in the mountains.