CNN, September 21, 2011
Investigators say they have a video that may hold clues to how unidentified men managed to drive two open-back trucks filled with 35 bodies through rush-hour traffic and then abandon them, blocking traffic and leaving bodies on the highway.
Police in the east coast state of Veracruz found the abandoned trucks and the bodies near a shopping mall in the municipality of Boca del Rio on Tuesday.
Photos of the scene showed the two trucks–with tall, open-slat sides, like for carrying produce or animals–with their back gates open, the bodies literally falling out onto the street. People on a nearby overpass looked down on shirtless bodies piled on top of each other.
Drug violence is not unheard of in Veracruz, a Zetas cartel stronghold, but a killing of this magnitude shocked even the hardened Mexicans.
The dead included 12 women and 23 men.
The video may show that the two trucks were guarded by other cars that could have doubled as getaway vehicles, Veracruz Attorney General Reynaldo Escobar Perez said Wednesday in a radio interview. He did not say where the video came from.
Investigators also are looking into whether police colluded with the people who discarded the bodies, he told W Radio.
In another interview, the attorney general said that the victims died of suffocation. Only one had a bullet wound, he said. The state of the bodies led investigators to deduce they died shortly before being abandoned, Escobar Perez said.
The two trucks were abandoned in the middle of the highway, witnesses said. Their gates were open and bodies had fallen out.
Hours later, bloodstains remained on the road as troops stood guard.
Boca del Rio is in Veracruz state’s most populated area. It has become a frequent site of clashes between armed groups as drug-related violence grows.