Mexican authorities found nine bodies hanging from an overpass in the city of Urupuan on Thursday. The drug cartel allegedly responsible for the gruesome acts of violence put up banners on the site to threaten its rival gangs.
Seven more hacked-up bodies were found dumped by a nearby road. Three more bodies were found just down the same road bringing the casualty total to 19. The mass murder reported by Michoacan prosecutors symbolized Mexico’s return to bloody slaughters at the hands of drug cartels mirroring the country’s 2006-2012 drug war. At the time, piles of corpses were merely dumped on roads to send a chilling message to rivals and officials.
A couple of bodies were hung from their necks, half-naked. One of the victims was a woman according to local Attorney General Adrián López Solís who released a statement during a press conference.
The victims were reportedly shot to death with some hung with their hands bound and the lower half of their bodies exposed.
The banner put up on the site had the initials of the Jalisco drug cartel written on it. The notoriously violent drug cartel mentioned one of its rival gangs, the Viagras. “Be a patriot, kill a Viagra,” part of the banner read.
Mexico security analyst Alejandro Hope interpreted the act saying, “This kind of public, theatrical violence, where you don’t just kill, but you brag about killing, is meant to intimidate rivals and send a message to the authorities.” Hope also noted that Michoacan is seeing an increase in this kind of violent acts.