By Jim Kouri
Mexican police discovered the dismembered bodies of at least 15 victims in two separate vehicles that were abandoned Thursday on a state highway in Jalisco, Mexico, according to a Law Enforcement Examiner source within the U.S. narcotics enforcement community.
According to the source, police acting on a tip from an informant found the bodies in two abandoned vans parked alongside a motel on the highway to Chapala, a popular weekend retreat only a few miles from the state capital of Guadalajara.
Mexican officials said they also found a note signed by an organized crime group called the Zetas.
The bodies were immediately taken to Jalisco’s Institute of Forensic Science in Guadalajara for autopsies and forensic examinations.
According to the Law Enforcement Examiner source, Mexico’s second-largest city, Guadalajara saw a similar mass killing in November 2011, when police officers found the remains of 26 bodies crammed into three vehicles.
The violence continues in Mexico as the ultra-violent Los Zetas gang battles the Sinaloa Cartel over billion-dollar drug trafficking routes up the Mexican coast into the United States. Members of Los Zetas are believed to be former Mexican military and police personnel and control the largest territory in Mexico.
Close to 50,000 people have been killed since Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon came to power in 2006 and declared a war on organized crime and drug trafficking.