Nineteen bodies were found Thursday in a turf war between rival drug gangs in the Mexican city of Uruapan, some dismembered and others hanging from bridges, said the state prosecutor.
"There is a turf war between the (local) cells of different criminal groups. They are fighting for territorial control over the production, distribution and consumption of drugs," said Adrian Lopez, chief prosecutor for the western state of Michoacan, where Uruapan is located.
"That leads to this type of incident, which alarms the population, and rightfully so," Lopez told a press conference.
Images carried by local media showed several bodies hanging from an overpass in Uruapan, alongside a threatening message printed on a large sheet of plastic -- an intimidation tactic frequently seen in cartel turf wars here.
Other bodies were found cut up and abandoned along the road, said Lopez.
Authorities found the bodies at three different sites in all, he said.
He did not say which criminal groups were involved.
Michoacan is a flashpoint in the violent organized-crime wars that have swept Mexico in recent years.
The state is where the government first deployed the army to fight criminal gangs in 2006 -- a strategy that critics say has only led to an escalation in the grisly violence.
Mexico has registered more than 250,000 murders since then, including a new record of 33,755 last year.
Leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took office in December, has promised to reduce the violence using a strategy based around a newly launched National Guard, which is taking over the job of fighting drug cartels from the military and federal police.
However, his government has so far failed to reduce homicides, which are on track to hit a new record, with 17,138 in the first six months of 2019.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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