Mexican police discovered 19 dead people, some people hanged from an overpass and others butchered and dumped on the road, in what authorities believe is a gang turf war, according to The Associated Press.
In the state of Michoacán, Mexico, nine bodies were discovered hanging from an overpass in the city of Uruapán. Seven other bodies were chopped up and dumped on the street, with three additional bodies hacked up and left further down the street, according to a report.
There was also a drug cartel banner hanging on the overpass that was not completely legible with a part, “Be a patriot, kill a Viagra.”
Authorities have suspected that banner belongs to the bloodthirsty Jalisco drug cartel, whose rival is the Viagras gang.
Some criminal gangs were fighting over the territory to control activities related to drug production distribution and consumption, Michoacán Attorney General Adrián López Solís said.
Some of the bodies were hanged with their hands bound and others with their pants down. Two of the bodies hanging on the overpass were women and were half-naked; one dismembered body was also a woman. All the victims had been shot to death.
Alejandro Hope, a Mexican security analyst, said this kind of public, theatrical violence, “where you don’t just kill, but you brag about killing,” is meant to send the message to the officials and threatening rivals.
This act is a sobering reminder of the height of the drug war in Mexico in 2011 and 2012, when dozens of bodies, including many decapitated bodies, would be dumped in piles along highways.
This kind of cynical impunity has been increasing in Michoacán, Mexico, Hope added.
Mexico has surpassed its own homicide record this year, which is up 5.3 percent—with 17,608 homicides—when compared to the first part of 2018.
Mexico boasts a population of over 129 million people. Uruapán, located approximately 250 miles west of the country’s capital, Mexico City, had a population of approximately 315,000 as of 2010.