MEXICO CITY (AP) — Police have found the tortured bodies of nine men and two women on the outskirts of Mexico's Gulf coast city of Veracruz, authorities said Wednesday, a day after increased state and federal security forces were deployed to parts of the state.
Veracruz Gov. Miguel Angel Yunes called the killings "an act of barbarity" and said they're part of a battle between drug gangs.
Yunes said the 11 bodies were found near a stolen vehicle. The governor did not reveal the message written on a sign left near the corpses, but local media reported that it said: "You want a war, you'll get a war."
Yunes declined to identify the cartels involved in the dispute, but in the past the Zetas and the Jalisco New Generation cartel have fought bloody turf battles in the state. The New Generation cartel was blamed for dumping 35 bound, tortured bodies on a busy boulevard in a suburb of Veracruz in 2011.
Since mid-2016, Veracruz has seen an increase in killings. Yunes said more than 70 percent of recent homicides involved "this fight, this battle between organized crime gangs."
Yunes also said two people were killed in a confrontation with marines in the city of Veracruz on Tuesday.
Mexico's federal government and Veracruz state authorities on Tuesday announced a joint operation to fight rising violence and crime in parts of the state.