15 bodies found near popular tourist lake in Mexico

At least 15 bodies have been found hacked up and stuffed into two vans near Lake Chapala, an area frequented by tourists just south of the city of Guadalajara in western Jalisco state, police in Mexico said Wednesday.

State Prosecutor said Tomas Coronado said the count is preliminary, because 15 severed human heads were found, meaning that at least that many people, but possibly more, had been cut up and put in the vans.

"The bodies are dismembered," Coronado said in an interview broadcast by the Notisistema radio station.

The two vehicles were found by the side of a highway early Wednesday; the vehicles were towed to government offices to unload the bodies.

The two vehicles were found just a few miles from Lake Chapala, an area popular with tourists and American retirees.

Mexican drug cartels frequently dismember the bodies of their victims or leave them stuffed into vehicles, but there was no immediate evidence of drug gang involvement at the crime scene Wednesday.

The area has been the scene of bloody turf battles between the Jalisco New Generation gang and the Zetas drug cartel.