Mexico’s drug wars spill into US

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The bodies of 35 people with links to organised crime have been found dead in two abandoned lorries on a highway underpass in eastern Mexico, authorities say.

The bodies were discovered near a shopping centre in Boca del Rio, adjacent to the port city of Veracruz, state prosecutor Reynaldo Escobar told television station Milenio. “These were people involved in organised crime,” Escobar said of the victims. Seven had been identified. The bodies piled up on the streets showing marks of torture, while body parts were also found.

Newspapers Milenio and La Jornada said, some of the bodies had their hands tied and showed signs of torture.

Local television showed some corpses dumped on the street and others in the vehicles covered with blue plastic sheeting.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Mexican army announced it had captured a key figure in one of the country’s newest drug gangs, the Knights Templar, that is sowing violence in western Mexico. Saul Solis, a former police chief and one-time congressional candidate, was captured without incident on Monday in the cartel’s home state of Michoacan, Brigadier General Edgar Luis Villegas said during a presentation of Solis to the media. He is accused of drug trafficking, kidnapping and various attacks on the military and federal police.

The Knights Templar split late last year from La Familia, a drug gang known as a major trafficker of methamphetamine.

About 42,000 people have been killed since President Felipe Calderon launched a campaign against drug cartels at the beginning of his term in late 2006. Most of that violence has been focused on the northern border with the United States.

In other cases, Drug traffickers in Mexico have taunted police with body parts in Acapulco.

Suspected traffickers killed and mutilated a man on Wednesday, then left his body parts around the resort city of Acapulco, which has become plagued by drug violence, in a macabre taunt to authorities.

Police in the port city received reports on Tuesday of an “abandoned human head” on a busy street. Officers answering the call also found a human torso stuffed into a bag, the police force said on its website. Later, the deceased’s legs and feet were discovered hanging from a downtown bridge, with a message from the alleged perpetrators to authorities.

On another bridge on the road to Mexico City, north of Acapulco, police found the victim’s hands, bearing a note to state and local governments. The messages “appeared to be put up at the same time, and had the same lettering”, according to the police report.

Since 2010, Acapulco has increasingly been gripped by violence as warring drug cartels battle for control of the drug trafficking market. In another incident on Wednesday, at least nine people were killed in drug related violence. These deaths add to the many thousands killed over the past three years.

Across the border, Mexico’s drug war festers less violently. Signs of the drug trade can be gauged from the increasing number of corrupt American officials identified.