Six suspected drug dealers were strangled to death and another was beheaded in Mexico’s resort city of Cancun on Sunday, in the latest violence to strike the city popular with foreign tourists.
The victims were found on the patio of a house in a “low-income neighborhood” of the city, the Associated Press reported.
Authorities in the southern state of Quintana Roo, where Cancun is located, said they believed the Gulf Cartel was behind the murders and other recent killings in Cancun, El Universal reported.
The cartel was “trying to send a message to pull into line” independent drug dealers.
Another body was found elsewhere in Cancun, La Jornada reported.
Police have arrested seven men suspected of carrying out the killings.
Sunday’s gruesome mass murder came a month after two gunmen burst into a bar in Cancun and shot dead half a dozen people.
Most of the victims in that incident were members of the taxi drivers union. The Associated Press reported at the time that a number of taxi drivers had been arrested recently for selling drugs.
Drug-related violence has claimed the lives of more than 70,000 people since 2007 and has continued since President Enrique Pena Nieto took office in December.
Government figures show there were 4,249 drug-related deaths in Mexico in the four months of his administration, down 14 percent from the previous corresponding period, Latino Daily News reported.