The New York Times, 5/13/12
Forty-nine mutilated bodies were found dumped along a highway on Sunday near Monterrey, Mexico’s third-largest city, according to officials.
The security spokesman for the state of Nuevo León, which includes Monterrey, said that it would be difficult to identify the victims — 6 women and 43 men — because their heads, hands and legs had been cut off. It was not immediately clear when the people were killed; the bodies already showed signs of decay, officials said. A message left near the scene suggested that the extremely violent Zetas drug cartel was responsible.
The bodies were found less than a week after officials authorized extending the army’s presence in Nuevo León and the neighboring state of Tamaulipas until the end of November. President Felipe Calderón began sending federal troops to fight organized crime syndicates in many parts of the country when he took office in 2006; violence related to the drug cartels and the crackdown on them has claimed more than 50,000 lives, most of them in states like Nuevo León near the American border.