Bodies Dumped Around Mexico City Before Local Election

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On the eve of a vital gubernatorial election in Mexico State, five dismembered bodies were left in plastic bags in two cities, with notes attributing the killings to the Mano con Ojos drug gang.

As CNN reports, the bodies, all accompanied by hand-written notes, were found in the populous Mexico City suburbs of Huixquilucan and Naucalpan on Saturday night.

Alfredo Castillo, the state’s attorney general, said that the murders were timed to coincide with the election, so as to make an impression while media attention was concentrated on Mexico State. The election has sparked more interest than the typical gubernatorial contest because the outgoing governor, Enrique Peña Nieto, is considered a clear front-runner in the 2012 presidential elections.

The Mano con Ojos (Hand with Eyes), a spinoff of the Beltran Levya gang, has emerged in recent months as a violent force in the region. It has been engaged in a turf war with another emerging group of retail dealers known as the Central Cartel, as well as the Familia Michoacana, which has been caught in an internecine battle with the Caballeros Templarios and has lost influence over the past several months.

As InSight Crime noted in May, the authorities recently charged more than a dozen municipal police officers in Huixquilucan with protecting the Mano con Ojos.

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