Authorities believe a drug war is to blame for numerous deaths in Mexico.
The dismembered corpses of 43 men and six women were found on the side of a highway in Cadareyta Jimenez, an area in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon.
The head, feet and hands had been cut off of each of the victims, making identification nearly impossible. However, some of the bodies are tattooed, which may lead to their identification.
In a message left with the bodies, the Zetas, a brutal drug gang, claimed responsibility for the crime. The gang has been involved in a bloody war with other gangs over drug smuggling routes and cocaine supply. Authorities note that the group has previously targeted Mexicans migrating to the United States.
This is not the first mass murder in Mexico this year. In August, 52 people died in an arson attack. Last Wednesday, 18 decapitated bodies were found in Guadalajara. Two weeks ago, 14 dismembered bodies were found in Nuevo Laredo and nine were discovered hanging from a bridge.
The cities where crimes have taken place form a triangle that has been labeled the “Triangle of Death.” Of the 4,832 missing people cases in Mexico between 2006 and 2011, about 80 percent disappeared in the triangle.
“They’re fighting across the whole country with complete impunity,” said security analyst Alberto Islas. “The government has to send out a very clear signal they will stop the violence and find those responsible.”