Mexico Navy Finds 32 Alleged Victims of ‘Zeta Killers’ in Veracruz

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Authorities in the east Mexican city of Veracruz reported the discovery of 32 bodies, thought to have been murdered by the Mata Zetas, in three houses in the city.

On Thursday the navy announced the discovery of 20 bodies, 17 men and three women, in a house in the area of Jardines de Mocambo. A matter of hours later, according to another navy report, officers located another 11 dead bodies in a property in the Costa Verde district of the city, and one other in a house in the upmarket Costa de Oro neighborhood.

The security forces were led to the bodies by alleged members of the Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (CJNG), who make up a self-described paramilitary force known as the “Mata Zetas” or Zeta killers. Eight suspected members of this group were arrested Thursday, as were 12 suspected Zetas.

The killings follow the dumping of 35 bodies on one of the city’s main streets on September 20, along with a sign threatening to kill all Zetas in the state.

Over the last six months violence in Veracruz state has intensified as drug gangs including the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel have battled for control of the key drug trafficking “plaza.”

The deaths come just two days after the Mexican government announced plans to send additional federal police and military troops to Veracruz state under a unified command, in an attempt to bring drug violence under control.

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