Monday Jan 09, 201211:12 PM GMT
13 bodies found in western Mexico
Mon Jan 9, 2012 11:6PM
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A Mexican investigator standing over a dead body in Sinaloa State, Mexico (file photo)
Mexican authorities say they have found 13 bodies stacked on top of each other at a gas station in the country's western state of Michoacan.

The semi-naked bodies of ten adults and three minors were found near the gas station in the early Monday morning in the town of Zitacuaro, around 160 kilometers west of Mexico City.

Police said that most of the victims had been shot in the head and their bodies showed signs of torture.

State prosecutors said the hand-scrawled threatening messages that were left with the bodies indicated that the killing may be a settling of scores between rival drug cartels.

Michoacan, the home state of President Felipe Calderon, has been the centre of a violent battle between the La Familia cartel and a rival offshoot of the gang, the Knights Templar, over lucrative methamphetamine trafficking routes and marijuana fields across western Mexico.

The state has been relatively calm since Mexico police killed the powerful boss of La Familia cartel, Nazario Moreno, in December 2010.

Some 50,000 people are estimated to have been killed in Mexico's drug-linked violence since President Calderon launched a military crackdown on the criminal gangs in 2006.

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