In a grim scene outside the state governor’s office at Zacatecas in Mexico on Thursday, police discovered 10 dead bodies in a sports utility vehicle.
Mexican authorities said two people have been taken into custody for leaving the corpses outside governor David Monreal’s office at Plaza de Armas in the central state of Zacatecas.
Officials said a man drove the SUV into the plaza, which was still lit with Christmas and holiday decorations, left the vehicle there and then walked away. It was then that officials grew suspicious.
“They came to leave them here in front of the palace,” Mr Montreal said in a video. He added that the bodies looked like they had been beaten and had bruises all over them.
Referring to rising violence in the state, Mr Monreal promised that “bit by bit we will recover our peace”.
He later tweeted that two suspects “linked to the discovery in the morning” had been taken into custody. He added: “We will not rest until peace and security return to our state.”
Zacatecas saw increasing violence last year as drug cartels fight to gain control of the drug smuggling routes to the United States.
The state was once dominated by the old Zetas cartel but now Sinaloa, Jalisco, Gulf and northeast cartels as well as remnants of the Zetas are fighting for control of Zacatecas.
Last November, the bodies of six people were found hanging from a bridge and a tree in Fresnillo in Zacatecas.
In June, bullet-ridden bodies of 18 people were discovered in the Valparaiso region in Zacatecas. Authorities later said that there was a gun battle between Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels.
In 2021, Zacatecas registered 1,050 murders — about 260 more than in 2020. Till November 2021, Mexico recorded 31,615 killings, about 3.6 per cent less than 2020.
Additional reporting by agencies