MEXICO CITY — The bound and gagged bodies of 26 men were found early Thursday in abandoned vehicles in Guadalajara, a grim sign of escalating mafia violence among gangsters vying for control of Mexico’s second-largest city.
Investigators from the state of Jalisco said that the corpses were stuffed in three vehicles left near the Millennium Arches, a major landmark, and that each of the dead had been shot in the head.
The discovery came less than 24 hours after a similarly grisly scene in Mexico’s Sinaloa state, where the charred remains of 16, some of them handcuffed and wearing bulletproof vests, were left in two pickups. Investigators are looking into a possible connection to Thursday’s crime scene.
“These barbaric acts show that the war between the criminals is getting even more brutal,” said Jorge Aristoteles Sandoval, Guadalajara’s mayor.
Guadalajara has not been among the places considered major Mexican drug-war battlegrounds, such as Ciudad Juarez or Monterrey. But analysts say Thursday’s discovery could signal a new push by the Zetas cartel into territory that has long been the domain of the Sinaloa Federation, the reigning criminal power along Mexico’s western coast.