The southern Mexican state of Guerrero, where 43 teachers’ college students disappeared two years ago, continues to spiral into violence and disorder.
At 11 p.m. Sunday night, according to Mexico’s Proceso news site, the decapitated bodies of eight men were found on a road outside Tixtla, bearing the signs of having been tortured.
In Acapulco, the largest city in Guerrero which has been suffering through an especially violent year, 10 people were gunned down in separate incidents over the weekend, two of them members of the Mexican Marines.
According to authorities, the Marines were off-duty when they were machine-gunned to death in a section that’s considered one of the most dangerous in the seaside city.
Late last week, Mexican federal forces arrested the alleged leader of a band of assassins Acapulco, and in the state's mountainous interior 30 armed men kidnapped at least a dozen people, government officials said.
The government identified the arrested man only as "Benito N." and stated he was responsible for a significant amount of the bloodshed in Acapulco. A statement released late Friday said his arrest was one of the state's top security priorities.
Local media said the suspect was the head of assassins for the local arm of the Beltrán Lleyva cartel.
Killings are up 5 percent this year over a very bloody 2015 in Acapulco. Authorities say 790 homicides were recorded from January through October.
Also late Friday, Roberto Alvarez, spokesman for security forces in the southern state of Guerrero, said state police were searching for 12 to 14 people who were kidnapped Thursday night from the township of Ajuchitlan del Progreso.
Witnesses told police that about 30 armed men kidnapped the victims, which included some minors, Alvarez said. Relatives reported already receiving calls demanding ransom for their release. Local residents blamed a group called Los Tequileros, he said.
Includes reporting by the Associated Press.