Nine men killed in Mexican drug war hotspot

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 17, 2013 2:12 PM

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The bodies of nine men were found on Saturday in one of the most troubled areas of Mexico's western Michoacan state, where the Knights Templar drug cartel is fighting civilian-led vigilante groups, some with ties to other cartels.

Michoacan, where former President Felipe Calderon in 2007 launched his army-led campaign against the cartels, has again become a hotspot of drug-related violence.

The bodies were found by members of the army in an area close to the border with Jalisco state, a spokesman for Michoacan's attorney general's office said.

The bodies of the men, who had been tied up and shot, were found early Saturday and have not yet been identified, the spokesman said.

The Knights Templar is a cult-like gang involved in drug trafficking as well as extorting and terrorizing communities in Michoacan.

More than 70,000 people died from Calderon's army-led war on drug cartels between 2006 and 2012, and more than 6,000 have been killed since President Enrique Pena Nieto took office in December.

On Friday in Guerrero state, which borders Michoacan, eight people were found killed in another area where the Knights Templar are fighting vigilante groups, while in a different part of the same state, eight bodies were found in a mass grave.

(Reporting by Anahi Rama; Editing by Vicki Allen)