Tuesday January 15, 2013
Mexico City hit by unusually violent weekend
MEXICO CITY: A wave of violence left 22 people dead in Mexico City over the weekend, an unusually high number of murders in the capital relatively shielded from Mexico's drug war, officials said Monday.
The city's top prosecutor, Rodolfo Rios, told reporters that it was an "atypical" weekend in the city, which normally averages less than two murders per day.
While most of the murders were perpetrated with firearms, Rios said they were isolated incidents that have nothing to do with organized crime.
At least 70,000 people have died in drug violence across Mexico since 2006, when troops were deployed to crack down on cartels battling each other for lucrative smuggling routes to the United States.
Meanwhile, authorities in the central state of Mexico, which surrounds the capital, said they found at least 13 people dead in suspected drug violence on Monday.
Six bodies were discovered stuffed in black plastic bags inside a vehicle in the town of Zincantepec on Monday morning, 77 kilometers (48 miles) west of Mexico City, the local prosecutor's office said.
Five more bodies, some dismembered, were found in the state capital of Toluca, police said. The men were tied up and gagged, while a gang left a note near the bodies.
Two other bodies were spotted inside an abandoned vehicle outside Toluca with another message from a criminal group.
On Friday, eight municipal officers, including two chiefs, vanished in the town of Ursulo Galvan in the eastern state of Veracruz.
Dozens of people blocked a Veracruz highway on Monday to protest the disappearance of the officers, whose patrol vehicle was found torched in a sugarcane field near the town.
Local officials - from police officers to mayors - have also been targeted in the string of murders and kidnappings afflicting the country, though they are often found colluding with gangs.-AFP