The discovery of 14 bodies in an abandoned van outside the capital of San Luis Potosi, Mexico marks the fifth time that this number of corpses has been dumped in as many months, all of them apparently killed by the Sinaloa Cartel or its allies.

On August 9 Mexican police discovered 14 bodies left in a stolen vehicle at a gas station in San Luis Potosi, reported Vanguardia.

The state attorney said that the men were kidnapped in Coahuila, brought to Zacatecas, and then killed before being dumped in San Luis Potosi. The authorities have not released any information regarding the suspected perpetrators or messages left at the crime scene, but Proceso attributes the massacre to the Gulf Cartel and other groups allied against the Zetas.

Including the 14 bodies, at least 21 people were found dead in San Luis Potosi that day. A shootout between suspected gang members and the Federal Police and armed forces left three dead and several injured, forcing a nearby university to close down for several hours. Following the gun battle, state police also found four bodies bearing signs of torture.

InSight Crime Analysis

San Luis Potosi has not suffered the same high levels of violence as its neighbors to the north. The National Secretariat of Public Security recorded 224 reported homicides in the state during the first half of 2012, compared to 1,096 in Nuevo Leon and 730 in Tamaulipas. Recently, however, a turf battle between the Zetas and allies of the Sinaloa Cartel has caused an increase in bloodshed.

This most recent attack is at least the sixth time since April that authorities have discovered 14 bodies dumped together, leading Reuters to speculate that the number may be some kind of code for drug cartels. In April, 14 bodies were left in an abandoned truck outside the city hall in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas. Then, in May, another 14 people were killed, their headless bodies left at the Nuevo Laredo Association of Customs Agents and their heads in coolers at Nuevo Laredo city hall. In June, 14 corpses were dumped in two seperate incidents in Mante, Tamaulipas, once on June 7 and again on June 23. Later that month, 14 dismembered bodies left in plastic bags were discovered in Veracruz.

All the killings were accompanied by notes saying that the dead were members of the Zetas, although authorities discovered no connection between the majority of the deceased and organized crime. The Sinaloa Cartel appeared to take credit for the first three massacres, while its ally the Jalisco Cartel New Generation (CJNG) was blamed for the fourth.

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Prev Next

The FARC and the Drug Trade: Siamese Twins?

The FARC and the Drug Trade: Siamese Twins?

The FARC have always had a love-hate relationship with drugs. They love the money it brings, funds which have allowed them to survive and even threaten to topple the state at the end of the 1990s. They hate the corruption and stigma narcotics have also brought to...

Ivan Rios Bloc: the FARC's Most Vulnerable Fighting Division

Ivan Rios Bloc: the FARC's Most Vulnerable Fighting Division

When considering the possibilities that the FARC may break apart, the Ivan Rios Bloc is a helpful case study because it is perhaps the weakest of the FARC's divisions in terms of command and control, and therefore runs the highest risk of fragmentation and criminalization.

Barrio 18 Leader 'Viejo Lin' on El Salvador Gang Truce

Barrio 18 Leader 'Viejo Lin' on El Salvador Gang Truce

Barrio 18 leader Carlos Lechuga Mojica, alias "El Viejo Lin," is one of the most prominent spokesmen for El Salvador's gang truce. InSight Crime co-director Steven Dudley spoke with Mojica in Cojutepeque prison in October 2012 about how the maras view the controversial peace process, which has...

The FARC 1964-2002: From Ragged Rebellion to Military Machine

The FARC 1964-2002: From Ragged Rebellion to Military Machine

On May 27, 1964 up to one thousand Colombian soldiers, backed by fighter planes and helicopters, launched an assault against less than fifty guerrillas in the tiny community of Marquetalia. The aim of the operation was to stamp out once and for all the communist threat in...

The Reality of the FARC Peace Talks in Havana

The Reality of the FARC Peace Talks in Havana

If we are to believe the Colombian government, the question is not if, but rather when, an end to 50 years of civil conflict will be reached. Yet the promise of President Juan Manuel Santos that peace can be achieved before the end of 2014 is simply...

The FARC 2002-Present: Decapitation and Rebirth

The FARC 2002-Present: Decapitation and Rebirth

In August 2002, the guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) greeted Colombia's new president with a mortar attack that killed 14 people during his inauguration. The attack was intended as a warning to the fiercely anti-FARC newcomer. But it became the opening salvo of...

Criminalization of FARC Elements Inevitable

Criminalization of FARC Elements Inevitable

While there is no doubt that the FARC have only a tenuous control over some of their more remote fronts, there is no evidence of any overt dissident faction within the movement at the moment.

'Chepe Luna,' the Police and the Art of Escape

'Chepe Luna,' the Police and the Art of Escape

The United States -- which through its antinarcotics, judicial and police attaches was very familiar with the routes used for smuggling, and especially those used for people trafficking and understood that those traffickers are often one and the same -- greeted the new government of Elias Antonio...

MS-13's 'El Barney': A Trend or an Isolated Case?

MS-13's 'El Barney': A Trend or an Isolated Case?

In October 2012, the US Treasury Department designated the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) as a transnational criminal organization (TCO). While this assertion seems unfounded, there is one case that illustrates just why the US government is worried about the future.

The Infiltrators: Corruption in El Salvador's Police

The Infiltrators: Corruption in El Salvador's Police

Ricardo Mauricio Menesses Orellana liked horses, and the Pasaquina rodeo was a great opportunity to enjoy a party. He was joined at the event -- which was taking place in the heart of territory controlled by El Salvador's most powerful drug transport group, the Perrones -- by the...