Twelve people have been shot dead in two of Mexico’s top tourist spots, authorities said, in two states that have been hard hit in the country’s spiral of drug-related violence.
In Mazatlan, one of Mexico’s busiest international tourism hubs, gunmen killed five people in a vehicle outside a liquor store. Witnesses told police the gunmen did say a word before opening fire on the three men and two women.
Mazatlan is in Sinaloa state — home to Joaquin ‘el Chapo’ Guzman’s Sinaloa cartel, one of Mexico’s largest, with its operational reach extending through Central America and down to Colombia.
Guzman was arrested in 1993 but bribed his way out of a maximum security facility by hiding himself in a laundry cart.
He has a $5 million bounty on his head.
In southwestern Guerrero state, seven bodies bound and riddled with bullets were found Sunday in the beach resort of Zihuatanejo, local police said.
A local newspaper published a photo of the victims, who appeared to be half-naked and bloodied, with their feet bound to a pole in the street.
Threatening notes bearing the seal of the Knights Templar, an offshoot of the La Familia crime gang, appeared to be near the bodies.
More than 41,000 people have been killed across Mexico since the federal government in 2006 launched a crackdown against drug cartels, according to official data and media tallies.