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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Gunmen toss 5 human heads on dance floor

MEXICO CITY - In a horrifying show of brutality, gunmen barged into a bar in central Mexico early Wednesday and tossed five human heads on the dance floor, after covering patrons with their weapons, officials said.

Heavily armed men fired their guns in the air as they entered the bar in Uruapan in the central state of Michoacan, said Magdalena Guzman, spokeswoman for the state prosecutor's office. The gunmen ordered patrons to the ground before tossing the heads.

Guzman said investigators believe the beheadings were linked to organized crime, possibly drug smugglers. No arrests had been made.

Police were still trying to identify the victims, she said.

The attackers left a note written on a piece of cardboard reading: "The family doesn't kill for money. It doesn't kill women. It doesn't kill innocent people, only those who deserve to die."

Guzman said the state prosecutor and governor had requested the federal government beef up organized crime investigators in the Pacific coast state. Officials also urged the public to come forward with any information.

The grisly killings were the latest in a nation plagued by growing drug-related violence.

Arrests of major drug cartel leaders have sparked an increasingly brutal and ruthless drug war in Mexico as gangs battle for control of lucrative routes.

So far this year, at least six human heads of police and rival drug smugglers have been found in the Pacific resort of Acapulco. One washed up on a popular beach in the tourist zone, and the rest have been dumped in front of government offices.

In the past few months, heads have also been found in other states plagued by drug violence, including the border states of Baja California and Nuevo Leon.
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