Latin America & Caribbean

Six bodies found in eastern Mexican state of Veracruz

Map of Mexico
Image caption The bodies were found about 80km (50 miles) north of the port city of Veracruz

Police in Mexico have found six bodies in the eastern Veracruz state.

The officers first came across three naked bodies by the side of a road near the town of Emiliano Zapata on Sunday.

As they searched the area they found plastic bags containing three more bodies in an advanced state of decay.

Veracruz state has seen an increase in violence as rival cartels fight over the control of lucrative drug trafficking routes around the port city of Veracruz.

Gang wars

The area is disputed by the Zetas cartel, considered the most brutal operating in Mexico, and the New Generation Cartel.

Image copyright AP
Image caption The disappearance of 43 students in the town of Iguala in Guerrero shocked Mexicans

The bodies have not yet been identified.

Drug gangs routinely dump bodies by the side of motorways in Mexico.

The victims are sometimes killed to settle scores within the gang hierarchy, others because they belong to rival cartels.

In the past the discovery of bodies rarely made headlines.

But the disappearance in September of 43 students in south-western Guerrero state shone a spotlight on the impunity with which drug gangs operate in Mexico, correspondents say.

As police searched for the 43, they found dozens of bodies in shallow graves around the town where the students disappeared.

After months of searching and the discovery of a bone fragment belonging to one of the students, the prosecutor general's office declared them dead.

Many of their relatives refuse to give up the search and have been campaigning for more to be done to locate them.

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