Mexico’s Second Mass Killing This Week Claims 26 in Guadalajara

Mexican police found 26 corpses yesterday on a main boulevard in Guadalajara, the nation’s second-largest city, a local official said yesterday.

The bodies were found in vehicles that were abandoned early yesterday near a local landmark known as the Millennium Arches, Jalisco state Government Secretary Fernando Guzman told reporters. The bodies, which had gunshot wounds and signs of asphyxiation, bore signs with the word “Zetas” -- the name of a violent drug cartel based in eastern Mexico.

The deaths came one day after authorities in the northwestern state of Sinaloa reported the killings of 26 people in three different municipalities there, including the state capital of Culiacan. The Sinaloa Cartel is based in that state and also has a strong presence in Jalisco, where Guadalajara is located.

Guadalajara, a Mexican technology hub, had seen fewer drug- related deaths than other cities since six were killed there in February by a grenade attack on a nightclub.

This week’s killings show that any Mexican city can be hit by violence related to organized crime, said Javier Oliva, a security analyst at Mexico’s National Autonomous University.

‘Broader Area’

“We are seeing that this war between criminal groups is extraordinarily violent and is spreading to a broader area,” Oliva said in a telephone interview yesterday from Mexico City.

Veracruz, an important port on the Gulf of Mexico, saw violence surge when 67 bodies were discovered in two incidents in September and October. In Monterrey, Mexico’s third-largest city, an arson attack on a casino killed 52 people in August.

In Sinaloa’s killings on Nov. 23, 16 of the victims had been burned, while 10 were killed with high-powered weapons, the Mexico City daily El Universal reported on its website.

The federal government will assist in the investigations in both states to ensure that “these crimes don’t go unpunished,” Interior Minister Alejandro Poire said Thursday at an event in the Pacific resort of Acapulco, another city that has seen violence rise.

Since President Felipe Calderon took office Dec. 1 2006, almost 43,000 people have died in organized crime-related deaths, according to an Oct. 4 report by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Mexico’s government estimates that drug-related violence shaves 1.2 percentage points off output annually in Latin America’s second-biggest economy.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nacha Cattan in Mexico City at ncattan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net

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