By Jim Kouri
Mexican police discovered 23 bodies inside three abandoned vehicles in a central area of Guadalajara, capital of the western Mexican state of Jalisco and host city of the recent Pan Am Games, according to a source with a federal law enforcement agency,
The discovery of the bodies occurred on Thursday, the DEA source told the Law Enforcement Examiner.
According to the report, Mexican police received a report that a person was hit by a motor vehicle near the monument of Millennium Arches. But when the police officers arrived on the scene, they only observed three abandoned trucks containing 23 bodies.
The monument is close to the Expo Guadalajara events center, the site of both Pan Am Games and the Guadalajara International Book Fair, which begins on Saturday, November 26.
Police officials reported that a banner signed by criminal gangs — the Millennium Cartel and Los Zetas — was found in one of the cars. Los Zetas Cartel is arguably most powerful organized crime syndicate in Mexico and it’s considered the most violent drug cartel and paramilitary enforcement group in Mexico by both U.S. and Mexican law enforcement.
While the Mexican police released little information, they did report that the victims were all tied with rope and gagged by their captors.
The Mexican police transported the 23 bodies to the Forensic Medical Service for official identification to determine who is responsible for the killings. Meanwhile, Mexican police officers are collecting videotapes from surveillance cameras near the sites to help identify the killers.
This latest mass-murder discovery comes just one day following the discovery of 16 charred bodies in vehicles abandoned in the city of Culiacan of northwestern Sinaloa state. According to preliminary reports, among the victims there were three municipal police officers and the wife of one of the officers.
This past summer, the Law Enforcement Examiner reported that the Mexican government discovered 59 bodies in mass graves. The bodies were discovered by police officers investigating the hijacking of a busload of civilians by suspected narco-terrorists in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas.
The location of the mass graves is a known hotspot for violence related to the powerful drug gangs who are terrorizing parts of Mexico.
The bodies were discovered in numerous mass graves in San Fernando, police said, with 43 corpses found in a single grave. It’s not known if any of the decayed bodies are those of missing Americans who may have visited Tijuana.
Police officers reported that they had found the graves while investigating reports that buses in the area had been stopped and passengers pulled off and kidnapped. In one police raid, 11 people were arrested, while five people being held captive by the alleged kidnappers were freed.
More than 45,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence in Mexico since President Felipe Calderon launched the ” war against organized crimes” in 2006.