September 26, 2020

Gunmen dump 35 bodies on avenue

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — Suspected drug traffickers drove two trucks to a main avenue in a Mexican Gulf coast city and dumped 35 bodies beneath an overpass during rush hour as gunmen stood guard and pointed their weapons at frightened drivers.

Horrified motorists trapped at the scene grabbed cell phones and sent Twitter messages warning others to avoid the area on a thoroughfare near the biggest shopping mall in Boca del Rio.

The gruesome scene Tuesday was a sharp escalation in drug violence in Veracruz state, which sits on an important route for drugs and Central American migrants heading north.

The Zetas drug cartel has been battling other gangs for control of the state.

Veracruz state Attorney General Reynaldo Escobar Perez said the bodies were left piled in two trucks and on the ground under an overpass near the mall and a statue of the Voladores de Papantla, ritual dancers from Veracruz state.

Police had identified seven of the victims so far and all had criminal records for murder, drug dealing, kidnapping and extortion and were linked to organized crime, Escobar said. He didn’t say to what group the victims belonged.

Motorists posted warnings on Twitter that masked gunmen in military uniforms were blocking Manuel Avila Camacho Boulevard and pointing their guns at civilians.

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