Mexico drug war: 12 decomposing bodies found in car

A shoot out between the Mexican army and members of a drug cartel in the northwestern state of Sinaloa resulted in 12 deaths on May 2, 2012.

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – A dozen decomposing bodies were found in an abandoned vehicle in northern Mexico on Friday, a day after authorities found the bodies of 14 men stuffed in a van in a neighboring state.

Police made the latest grisly discovery in a water park in Fresnillo, a town in Zacatecas, the Associated Press reported.

Initial reports said eight bodies had been found, but Mexican news agency Notimex said today that authorities had increased the toll to 12 after experts completed an examination of the vehicle.

Authorities said the men whose bodies were found in a Mercedes-Benz van in San Luis Potosi on Thursday had been kidnapped the day before in Coahuila state.

Such gruesome discoveries are not uncommon in Mexico where the armed forces are struggling to contain drug-related violence that has claimed the lives of more than 55,000 people in the past six years.

Even by Mexico’s standards, the past week was particularly violent. 

Five attackers were killed during a gun battle with federal police in the western state of Michoacan on Friday, the AP said. 

On Thursday, gunmen hung two men by their hands from a pedestrian bridge in the northern city of Monterrey and then executed them in front of terrified motorists.

In late 2006 the newly elected President Felipe Calderon launched an aggressive campaign against the powerful drug cartels. 

Calderon, who leaves office in late November, deployed thousands of soldiers and federal police across the country to take over security duties from local police hopelessly out-gunned by the well-armed drug traffickers.

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