MEXICO CITY (AP) _ Police found 17 bodies stuffed in cars or dumped on streets in garbage bags across Mexico on Monday in the latest wave of violence apparently triggered by warring drug gangs.
In the resort city of Cancun, the bodies of three men and two women were found in an SUV with their heads covered in tape and their hands bound behind their backs, Quintana Roo state police said.
Police spokesman Antonio Coral said he could not immediately confirm the cause of death.
Mexico City police found more three bodies in an SUV parked in a middle-class neighborhood in what the Mexico City attorney general said appeared to be killings linked to a turf war between drug gangs.
Two more bodies were found in a car in Iguala, about 100 miles south of Mexico City. A note found at the scene threatened Joaquin ``El Chapo'' Guzman, the alleged head of the Sinaloa Cartel who escaped from a federal prison in 2001.
Three burned bodies also were found in two cars in the Sinaloan city of Culiacan, while four more bodies were found in garbage bags in the central city of Taxco and the port city of Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico.
Federal investigators say the Sinaloa cartel is fighting a bloody turf war with the Gulf Cartel and their army of enforcers known as the Zetas over billion-dollar drug trafficking routes to the United States. The battle has led to beheadings, grenade attacks and execution-style killings across Mexico and the violence has taken a particularly heavy toll on police.
President Felipe Calderon, who took power in December, has launched a nationwide offensive against the gangs, sending 24,000 federal police and soldiers to areas ravaged by violence.
But killings have continued unabated. According to a tally kept by Mexico City daily El Universal there have been more than 700 drug slayings since January.