Mexico violence: 14 bodies found in van in San Luis Potosi state


The 'caravan of comfort' drives through San Luis Potosi state in central Mexico on June 6, 2011. Mexicans protesting a military crackdown on drug cartels travelled by convoy through some of Mexico's bloodiest towns to the US border.



GUADALAJARA, Mexico – The bodies of 14 men were found in a Mercedes-Benz van in central Mexico today, in the latest mass killing in the country.

A spokeswoman for the San Luis Potosi state prosecutor’s office said the men had been kidnapped on Wednesday in the northern state of Coauhuila, Spanish news agency EFE reported.

"We have the bodies of 14 males aboard a Mercedes-Benz van that had been reported stolen," Gabriela Gonzalez said.

The men appear to have been shot to death and the evidence suggested the murders were drug-related, Gonzalez said.

According to the Associated Press,
San Luis Potosi has been the scene of battles between the hyper-violent Zetas drug cartel and allies of the Sinaloa gang.

It is the fifth time attackers have dumped 14 bodies in Mexico in recent months, suggesting the number may be a code for drug traffickers, Reuters reported.

In a separate incident, gunmen shot to death seven men at a sports field in the northern state of Sinaloa on Wednesday night, El Universal reported.

More than 55,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence since late 2006 when President Felipe Calderon launched an aggressive campaign against the powerful drug cartels.

Calderon, who leaves office at the end of November, has repeatedly defended the war on drugs. He said earlier this month that the number of murders related to organized crime fell nearly 15 percent in the first six months of 2012.

More from GlobalPost: Mexico murder rate falls in first half of 2012





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