Authorities found the dismembered bodies of at least 40 people stuffed into bags and dumped on a highway near the northern city of Monterrey in what appeared to be the latest atrocity by Mexico's brutal drug gangs.
The bodies were found in the early hours of Sunday on a highway in the municipality of Cadereyta Jimenez, officials from the state of Nuevo Leon said.
There were at least 40 victims, an official for the state government said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The final count was still to be confirmed, the official said. A state police official said the death toll may have been as high as 49.
The Nuevo Leon government official said the killings appeared to be the work of drug cartels and that a message of the kind often favored by the gangs had been left at the scene. But it was not clear who was responsible.
The area has been notorious for slayings by the Zetas gang, who have been locked in a bloody conflict with other gangs including the Gulf cartel, their former employers.
The killings follow a string of atrocities, including 18 people who were found decapitated and dismembered near Mexico's second-largest city, Guadalajara, on Wednesday.
A week earlier, the bodies of nine people were found hanging from a bridge and 14 others found dismembered in the city of Nuevo Laredo, just across the U.S. border from Laredo in Texas.
For more on this story, CLICK HERE.