Two decapitated bodies and scalped heads were dumped outside a Sam's Club store in Acapulco while three headless corpses were found nearby on the resort city's main tourist strip, authorities in Mexico said Saturday.
The bodies discovered outside the Sam's Club were cut into more than 20 pieces, Guerrero state's Public Security Department said in a statement.
The statement said the skin on their faces and scalps had been removed and left in a woman's purse at the scene.
The three other decapitated bodies were found in a car parked on the boulevard Miguel Aleman 200 meters (656 feet) from the store, police said. One of the victims was a woman. Their heads have not been located.
Nearly two dozen Acapulco gas stations closed temporarily on Friday to protest the escalating violence.
Drug violence has grown in Acapulco since the December 2009 killing of cartel boss Arturo Beltran Leyva, which set off fighting among factions of the Beltran Leyva cartel.
Meanwhile, authorities said they found the bullet-riddled bodies of nine men on a highway in the Pacific Coast state of Nayarit.
The men's hands were tied and their bodies showed signs of torture, the Nayarit Attorney General's Office said in a statement Saturday. The men were aged 20 to 35 and the bullet wounds were from rifle fire, the statement said.
Nayarit has become a battleground for drug cartels fighting for control of the area.
The Sinaloa cartel, Mexico's most powerful, has long been active in Nayarit, which borders its home base in Sinaloa state, but the gang has recently been challenged by the Zetas and by the remnants of the Beltran Leyva cartel.
In May, a gunbattle between rival drug gangs in Nayarit left 29 bodies in fake military uniforms heaped across a roadway and inside bullet-riddled vehicles.
Associated Press writer Arturo Perez contributed to this report from Guadalajara, Jalisco.