By Mica Rosenberg, Reuters
MEXICO CITY | The bodies of 23 people were found hanging from a bridge or dismembered in ice boxes and garbage bags in northeastern Mexico on Friday, in an escalation of brutal violence involving rival drug gangs on the U.S. border.
In a first incident, the bodies of five men and four women were found hanging from a bridge in Nuevo Laredo, in Tamaulipas state just across the border from the Texas city of Laredo.
Police could not confirm who was responsible for the murders but a message seen with the bodies indicated it may have been an attack by the Zetas cartel against the rival Gulf cartel.
Hours later, police found the dismembered corpses of 14 people in garbage bags and ice boxes dumped near the police station of Nuevo Laredo, police investigators said.
They said the second massacre could have been an act of revenge for the earlier killings, police said.
More than 50,000 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico since President Felipe Calderon launched a crackdown on traffickers after taking office in late 2006 and deployed tens of thousands of federal police and soldiers across Mexico.
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