Be­headed bod­ies found in Aca­pulco

The Washington Post Sunday - - THE WORLD -

Fif­teen bod­ies, all but one of them de­cap­i­tated, were found early Satur­day in the Pa­cific re­sort city of Aca­pulco amid in­ten­si­fy­ing drug vi­o­lence in­Mex­ico.

The vic­tims, all male, were dis­cov­ered at dawn near a shop­ping mall, along with sev­eral threat­en­ing hand­writ­ten mes­sages that are left as call­ing cards by drug car­tels, au­thor­i­ties said.

The mes­sages were signed by Mex­ico’s most wanted man, Joaquin “Shorty” Guz­man, the leader of the pow­er­ful Si­naloa car­tel, which is fight­ing ri­vals in the area, po­lice said. The half-naked bod­ies were mu­ti­lated and beaten, and ma­chetes ap­peared to have been used, po­lice said.

The Si­naloa gang is wag­ing a war for con­trol of Aca­pulco, its port and routes to the United States, fight­ing the weak­ened Bel­tran Leyva car­tel and the South Pa­cific car­tel, a break­away fac­tion of the Bel­tran Leyva gang.

Drug vi­o­lence has killed more than 30,000 peo­ple since Pres­i­dent Felipe Calderon launched his army-led crack­down on drug car­tels in De­cem­ber 2006. Af­ter a brief Christ­mas lull, vi­o­lence has again surged across the coun­try, with at least 10 attacks since then on po­lice and on a prison in Mon­ter­rey.

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