Gunmen blocked traffic on a busy avenue in the Gulf of Mexico during rush hour Tuesday and dumped 35 bodies of dead victims as motorists watched in horror, the Associated Press reports.
Veracruz state Attorney General Reynaldo Escobar Perez told AP the bodies were left piled in two trucks and at an underpass near a shopping mall in Boca del Rio.
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He said police have identified seven of the victims, and all of them had criminal backgrounds including extortion, homicide and drug trafficking, CNN reported.
Mexico has been engulfed in a deadly drug war as cartels fight to control lucrative trade routes. Mexican officials say the drug war has left 35,000 people dead since 2006, including those affected by an army crackdown.
Veracruz state has been badly affected by violence over the past year as the Gulf and Zetas drug cartels battle one another. The Zetas cartel is in the process of moving its operations into the state from neighboring Tamaulipas.
Earlier this week, 32 inmates broke out of three jails in Veracruz. Prisoners overpowered the jails' guards and forced them to open the doors.