Citizens of Mexico's second-largest city have been shaken by the country's second mass killing in the space of a few days. The bodies of 26 young men were found stuffed into three vehicles left in the center of Guadalajara yesterday. Most of them had died of asphyxia and all had the words "Milenio Zetas" or "Milenium" written on their chest in oil, apparently in reference to the Zetas drug cartel and Milenio, a smaller, allied cartel. Some 17 burned bodies were found in two vehicles in Sinaloa state earlier this week.
The grisly find in Guadalajara is very similar to how 35 bodies were found dumped in Veracruz in September. The victims there were Zetas, and authorities suspect that the mass killing in Guadalajara, where the Sinaloa cartel is dominant, was retaliation for Veracruz. Violence in Guadalajara largely subsided while the city hosted the Pan American games last month, but law enforcement officials fear that the Zetas are ready to launch an onslaught. "It's sad to see what's going on," a taxi driver tells the AP. "We used to be looking at the problem from afar. Now we're not, we've got it right here." (Read more Zetas stories.)