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23 Dead, 9 Of Them Hanged From A Bridge, In Nuevo Laredo, Mexico

It has been a bloody day for the Mexican border-town of Nuevo Laredo. It started at dawn when 9 bodies were found hanging from a bridge of a major thoroughfare that connects Nuevo Laredo to Monterrey.

And as the day went by, the mutilated bodies of 14 others were found across the city.

El Universal, one of Mexico's largest dailies, reports:

"The human remains, without heads, were found in black bags inside a van parked at the headquarters of the Association of Customs Agents of Neuvo Laredo, a law enforcement official sad.

"14 heads, which are assumed to correspond to the bodies, were found abandoned in coolers near the municipal headquarters, near the U.S. border."

The AFP reports that the bodies hanged from the bridge showed signs of "beating and torture."

"We believe they were members of a criminal gang," an official who declined to be named told the AFP.

El Blog del Narco, which follows the drug violence in graphic detail, posted pictures of the bodies. They show five men and four women hanged from an overpass a very short distance from each other. The bodies still have their hands bound and some are blindfolded. Their clothes are covered in blood.

Next to the bodies, the perpetrators left a long, rambling message.

"The message said the victims belonged to a drug cartel and had been responsible for a car bomb that exploded outside the police station in last month," CNN reports.

An unnamed military official told CNN that they "think it is related to an organized crime group, but we cannot speculate."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.