Mexican authorities found six severed heads on top of a parked vehicle with an intimidating message in the municipality of Chilapa de Álvarez, Guerrero.
In a gruesome message, human remains found on a busy street are believed to be victims of drug gang-related violence, authorities said. At the scene, a large poster warning against kidnapping and drug selling was posted beside the car.
“In Chilapa it’s strictly prohibited to sell or use crystal, kidnap, extort and steal,” the sign read, according to a Newsweek translation. “This is going to happen to anyone who’s messing around. All these crimes have capital punishment and the rules must be followed. The square has an owner and is respected.”
Police say they received reports of the heads on the hood of a black Volkswagen Pointer. Eight black plastic bags containing the dismembered remains of six people were also found inside the vehicle.
The State Attorney General’s Office says the six people have not yet been identified and have been sent to the Forensic Medical Service.
“It was confirmed that these are six men, all beheaded and dismembered, whose identity is so far unknown,” the State Attorney General’s Office said in a statement. “On the spot, experts of the Prosecutor’s Office took charge of performing the relevant actions, locating a canvas with a message that was left by its victims on the side of the gruesome finding.”
The findings of mutilated bodies left in public places in Mexico have increased in recent year, according to Mexican news outlet El Comerico.
In June 2021, during legislative elections, two heads and other human remains were posted at a polling station on the Tijuana border, the outlet reported.
And in November 2021, in Zacatecas, six bodies were found, three hanging from a bridge and the other three strung up in a tree. Local authorities said the remains were found where rival gangs battle for control of drug smuggling routes.
In January of this year, authorities found an abandoned vehicle with 10 corpses in front of the state governor’s office.
Mexican law enforcement and the military have struggled to curb drug-related violence. In 2018, the number of drug-related homicides in Mexico rose to 33,341, a 15 percent increase from the previous year, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.
Newsweek reached out to the State Attorney General’s Office for comment.