Nine dismembered bodies found in truck in Mexico

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Nine dismembered bodies were found piled in a truck on Saturday night in the violent Mexican state of Veracruz, the governor said on Sunday, describing the crime as a clash of rival gangs.

Most of the dead were believed to be members of drug gangs, Veracruz Governor Miguel Angel Yunes told a news conference, citing tattoos found on the bodies.

Before the discovery of the truck in Xalapa, the capital of the oil-rich state, authorities found the body of another man, who apparently had been killed as he tried to flee his captors, Yunes said.

“It is clear that this was a confrontation between criminals,” he said.

Escalating tension between drug gangs contributed to a record high number of murders in Mexico in 2017, and it was a particularly bloody year in Veracruz.

Murders in the Gulf state rose about 35 percent through November last year compared with the same period in 2016. Four of the 12 killings of reporters in Mexico last year took place in the state.

The weekend also saw violence in the northern state of Tamaulipas, where Juan Manuel Hernández, an official in the conservative National Action Party, was shot to death in his car on Saturday, according to a statement from the state. The state attorney general’s office has launched an investigation.

Reporting by Sharay Angulo and Julia Love; Additional reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; Editing by Peter Cooney and Sandra Maler