MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The bodies of six men were found hanging from three different bridges near the Mexican tourist resort of Los Cabos on the Baja California peninsula on Wednesday, local authorities said.
The authorities did not give details on what happened to the men, but drug gangs often hang the bodies of their murdered victims in public to intimidate rivals. Drug gang violence is set to make 2017 Mexico’s deadliest year in modern history.
Two bodies were found on a bridge in Las Veredas, near Los Cabos International Airport, and two on a different bridge on the highway between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, local prosecutors said in a statement.
In a separate statement, the prosecutors said two further bodies were found on a third bridge near the airport.
An official from the prosecutor’s office, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the bodies of the men had been hung from the bridges.
Violent crime has spiked in Baja California, particularly around the once peaceful resort of Los Cabos visited by million of foreign tourists every year. Los Cabos police chief Juan Manuel Mayorga was shot dead last week.
Mexico is on track for its most violent year since records began, with the rise of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, now one of the country’s most powerful, and disputes between other criminal groups fueling murder rates.
On Tuesday, authorities in the northern state of Chihuahua said 12 people were killed in clashes between armed groups.
The governor of the state of Baja California Sur, Carlos Mendoza Davis, said that authorities were investigating the incidents near Los Cabos.
“I condemn these acts and any expression of violence. Today more than ever in #BCS we should be united,” he said via Twitter, using the hashtag for the state’s initials.
Homicides have more than doubled in Baja California Sur this year, with 409 people killed through October, from 192 in all of 2016. In June authorities said they had found a mass grave with the bodies of 11 men and three women near Los Cabos.
More than 4.4 million passengers, mostly international, have passed through Los Cabos Airport so far this year, according to operator Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico.
Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz and Christine Murray, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien