MEXICO CITY – Masked gunmen blocked traffic on a busy avenue in a Gulf of Mexico coastal city Tuesday and dumped the bodies of 35 slaying victims as horrified motorists watched, authorities said.
Veracruz state Attorney General Reynaldo Escobar Perez said the bodies were left piled in two trucks and on the ground of an underpass near a shopping mall in the city of Boca del Rio.
Police had identified seven of the victims so far and all had criminal records for murder, drug dealing, kidnapping and extortion and were linked to organized crime, Escobar said. He didn’t say to what group the victims belonged to.
The Gulf and Zetas drug cartels have been locked in a bloody war for control in Veracruz state in the last year.
Motorists first began tweeting Tuesday afternoon that masked gunmen in military uniforms were blocking Manuel Avila Camacho Boulevard in Boca del Rio’s downtown and pointing their guns at civilians.
Escobar said police were reviewing surveillance video recorded in the area.
Earlier Tuesday, the Mexican army announced it had captured a key figure in the cult-like Knights Templar drug cartel that is sowing violence in western Mexico. Saul Solis Solis, 49, a former police chief and one-time congressional candidate, was captured without incident Monday in the state of Michoacan.