Dozens of bodies found buried in field in Mexico, drug violence suspected, officials say

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More than two dozen bodies, some of which were dismembered, were found buried in a Mexican sugarcane field and authorities said Wednesday that they believe the deaths were drug-related.

Four graves containing the remains of 33 people were located in the township of Xalisco, part of the state of Nayarit. The area is known as a base for a black-tar heroin trafficking ring. The first pit contained the remains of nine bodies and trained dogs led searchers to three other pits nearby.

The gruesome findings follow an ongoing power struggle between drug gangs in the area after the March arrest of Edgar Veytia, the former state attorney general, who faces U.S. charges of drug smuggling.

“The assumption is that these were people who were involved with one of the various criminal groups, but I can’t say which one,” current state Attorney General Petronilo Diaz said, referring to the bodies in the graves. – READ MORE

The Department of State issued Wednesday its semi-annual travel warning for Mexico, putting five of the country’s states in the same threat category as war-torn Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan.

As a whole, Mexico was rated at the second-lowest of four threat levels in the department’s new travel advisory system rolled out last week.

But five Mexican states — Sinaloa, Guerrero, Michoacan, Colima and Tamaulipas — were given the highest rating of “do not travel,” the same designation applied to near-failed states plagued by terrorism and open warfare.

The State Department’s travel advisory system now uses four tiers: “exercise normal precautions,” “exercise increased caution,” “reconsider travel” and “do not travel.”

Countries labeled “do not travel” present a high likelihood of life-threatening risks for travelers, and U.S. government officials stationed in those places have “very limited ability” to assist Americans in distress, according to the State Department. – READ MORE

Cartel gunmen shot and killed the mayor of Petatlan, Guerrero. The murdered politician’s close aide was executed earlier in 2017.

The gunmen murdered Arturo Gomez Perez this week while he was dining at a restaurant, Casa Vieja. According to police, on July 16, his close aide Manuel Rebolledo Perez was kidnapped and executed. At the time, the gunmen dumped his body and left a message near the Zihuatanejo airport.

According to Mexico’s National Mayors Association, since 2006, 111 mayors have been murdered. The group recorded 23 current mayors, 34 former, and 5 mayors-elect who were killed during President Enrique Peña Nieto term of office. The group pushes for improved security conditions for their peers. – READ MORE

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