The head of a Mexican police chief was delivered to his colleagues in an ice box in the country’s latest drug-related violence.
The incident came as 16 other people were also killed in Mexico’s northern state of Chihuahua in attacks the authorities believe are linked to the country’s drug wars.
“Hitmen cut off commander Martin Castro’s head and left it in an ice cooler in front of the local police station,” said a statement issued by the state justice authorities.
His head was left in the town Praxedis with a message from the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel.
The police commander was abducted on Saturday, along with five other police officers and a civilian, only five days after starting his job.
Six bodies in police uniforms bearing signs of torture and gunshot wounds were found on Monday in a street in the state capital, Chihuahua, officials said.
Hitmen killed four men in separate attacks in the violent border city of Ciudad Juarez, while six others, including a woman, were found dead in other towns across the state.
Mexican police and soldiers are battling a wave of drug-related violence across the country, particularly in northern areas bordering the US, with more than 5,300 people killed last year.
The federal government launched a campaign against drug-related violence more than two years ago involving the deployment of around 36,000 troops across the country.