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Cartel killings haunt Mexican business district, location of future Tesla plant

Mexican authorities found the mutilated remains of up to a dozen bodies strewn across the northern city of Monterrey on Tuesday

Teresa Magueyal fue asesinada mientras buscaba a su hijo desaparecido | EFE

September 28, 2023 10:47am

Updated: October 15, 2023 1:34pm

Mexican authorities found the mutilated remains of up to a dozen bodies strewn across the northern city of Monterrey on Tuesday.

Authorities believe the killings were the result of gang warfare because the bodies were left with messages on them. Mexican police told local media they believe the victims were part of a gang purge.

The killings brought particular concern to local law enforcement since Monterrey is considered the business and industrial center of Mexico, and the corporate headquarters for many significantly sized companies.

The killings could also have a future impact on drawing business and industry to the Mexican corporate capital. Earlier this year, Tesla announced it had plans to open a large car factory in the city in 2024.

The discovery of the mutilated bodies at seven separate sites across the city came after a decrease violence in recent years.

In the early 2010s, several drug cartels struggled to gain control of the city.

As part of their intimidation tactics to frighten rival cartels, the gangs hung corpses from bridges and left body parts beside signs admonishment to their enemies. 

Mexican news reports indicated there were signs that the killings were revenge for attempts to infiltrate a cartel. 

The gangs reportedly left messages that were signed by the Northeast Cartel, known in Spanish as “Cartel del Noreste.”

Police said that their investigation so far has led them to believe a cartel from neighboring Tamaulipas state were responsible for leaving the corpses in the Monterrey area. 

The Northeast Cartel, which is headquartered out of Tamaulipas, is believed to have sprung from the Zetas crime syndicate.

Its leader, Juan Gerardo Treviño Chávez, was charged by Mexican security forces in March 2022 and extradited to the United States for criminal prosecution.

Since Treviño Chávez’s extradition, competing gangs have competed to take over the Northeast Cartel. 

The cartel, which has escalated fears in the area is known for preying upon migrants in Tamaulipas, and engaging in heavy drug trafficking.

Mexican media have reported that the cartel abducts migrants trying to reach the U.S. through Mexico and ransoms their families demands for thousands of dollars at the threat of releasing them alive.