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7 found slain in northern Mexico border state as protests against rising violence heat up

Authorities in a northern Mexico border state say the bodies of four men and three women have been found stuffed inside a sport utility vehicle in the port city of Tampico.

Tamaulipas state prosecutors say the killings were the result of "internal disputes between presumed criminal gangs."

Violence has been increasing in Tamaulipas in recent weeks. But for the first time in recent memory, so have civic protests against the drug-fueled killings. The bodies were found in Tampico on Sunday — the same day that about 1,000 people staged a peace march farther north in the state capital of Ciudad Victoria.

Organizers said Monday it was the first march of its kind in recent memory in the state capital. A week earlier, a larger march occurred In Tampico.