Six bodies found in area where Mexican teens kidnapped
ZACATECAS - Six bodies were discovered Wednesday in an area of Mexico where seven teenagers were kidnapped days earlier, authorities said -- the latest abduction of youths in the violence-plagued country.
One of the missing was found alive but injured in the municipality of Villanueva in the northern state of Zacatecas, according to officials.
The six bodies were sent to the Zacatecas state capital to be identified, the state prosecutor's office said in a statement.
They were found in the same area where seven teenagers, aged 14 to 18 years old, were reported to have been abducted from a hacienda by suspected criminals early Sunday after a party.
"Six bodies of young people were found in the vicinity" but "we have to wait out of respect for the families" for formal identification, senior Zacatecas state official Rodrigo Reyes told the press.
Two suspects were arrested in Villanueva and "there is a high probability that they are linked" to the crime, he said.
The survivor was hospitalized with bruises and possible fractures to the head and nose, the prosecutors' statement said.
Relatives were receiving psychological care, it added.
While the motive for the kidnappings was unclear, the powerful Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation cartels are fighting for control of lucrative drug trafficking routes to the United States through Zacatecas.
Prosecutors said earlier that the kidnapping was not believed to be connected to forced recruitment by criminal groups.
The case has echoes of the apparent kidnapping, torture and killing of five young Mexicans aged 19 to 22 by drug cartel hitmen in the western state of Jalisco in August.
Murders and abductions are common in Mexico, but the five friends' disappearance while socializing shocked the country.
The reaction was in large part due to grisly leaked images showing the men kneeling and gagged with their hands tied.
One clip appeared to show a friend attacking another, presumably forced to do so by the captors.
None of the five has yet been found, though authorities have discovered various human remains during their search.
Mexico has recorded more than 420,000 murders since the launch of a controversial military antidrug offensive in 2006.
It has also registered more than 110,000 disappearances since 1962, most attributed to criminal organizations. - AFP