Two bodies hung from bridge on road to Acapulco

Struggle for control of the divided Beltran Leyva cartel results in second display of brutality in three days

Published August 24, 2010 9:11PM (EDT)

The dismembered bodies of two men were hung from a bridge Tuesday on a highway leading to Acapulco, the second such discovery in three days in a region where two drug lords are fighting for control of their divided cartel.

The men were hung from their feet at the entrance of Chilpancingo, the city nearest to Acapulco along the highway connecting the Pacific coast resort to Mexico's capital, according to police in the state of Guerrero, where Acapulco is located.

Their arms had been cut off, and a message was left threatening extortionists, kidnappers, police and the Mexican army, according to the police report, which had no information on the identity of the two men.

Mexican authorities say the region southeast of Mexico City has been besieged by fighting between two factions of the Beltran Leyva gang, whose leader, Arturo Beltran Leyva, was killed in a December shootout with marines in the city of Cuernavaca.

On Sunday, four decapitated bodies were found hanging by their feet from a bridge in Cuernavaca, a popular weekend getaway just south of Mexico City. The faction led by Hector Beltran Leyva, brother of Arturo, claimed responsibility in a message left with the four bodies. It threatened allies of its rival -- U.S.-born kingpin Edgar Valdez Villarreal.

No gang took responsibility in the message left Tuesday with the two bodies in Chilpancingo. The corpses were taken down before dawn.

Meanwhile, in northern Mexico, Nuevo Leon state Attorney General Alejandro Garza y Garza told reporters that an attack on guards from the FEMSA bottling company was a case of mistaken identity.

The U.S. consulate in Monterrey said in a statement Monday that the attack, which occurred outside a private school attended by many Americans, may have been an attempted kidnapping. The consulate said that it appeared no U.S. families were targeted but that it was temporarily pulling diplomats' children out the school as a precaution.

Garza y Garza said the guards were attacked by members of the Zetas drug gang who thought they belonged to a rival cartel. Two FEMSA security guards were killed, three were wounded and four were taken hostage and later released unharmed.

Garza y Garza said the four kidnapped guards told police their captors apologized before releasing them.

FEMSA has said the guards were on standard patrols in the area when the gunmen attacked. The company has said it the shooting did not appear related to any attempt to kidnap a relative of one of the company's executives.

Companies based in Monterrey, a business hub that is Mexico's most prosperous city, have tried to protect areas where their employees work, live or go to school amid a rising tide of drug-fueled violence.

By Sergio Flores

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Crime Drugs Latin America Mexico