MEXICO CITY (AFP) — Three decapitated corpses were discovered in Mexico's northwestern Sinaloa state Friday, bring to a total of seven headless bodies found and 11 police assassinated in a bloody week of often drug-related violence in the country, officials and news reports said.
The three headless corpses were found in a car in Culiacan, Sinaloa, together with a note critical of one of the Beltran Leyva brothers, heads of a faction of the divided Sinaloa drug cartel, state judicial officials said in a statement.
The Beltran Leyva brothers are in a fight with Sinaloa-based Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the country's most sought-after drug kingpin.
A message attacking him was found with four decapitated bodies on Wednesday, also in Culiacan.
Also Friday two policemen in Aguascalientes, in the center of Mexico, were killed while they were driving in a car, according to a city official.
Their deaths brought to 11 the number of murdered police officials during the week, including six in Sinaloa and a senior federal police official and his guard in Mexico City.
An estimated 450 police officials have been killed in Mexico since the launch of a massive federal anti-drugs operation in December 2006.
President Felipe Calderon has sent some 36,000 federal troops into key areas controlled by trafficking organizations, especially into Sinaloa, one of the state most hit by drug-related violence.
Last week the US government approved a 1.6-billion-dollar, three-year package of anti-drug assistance to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean known as the Merida Initiative, a large part of which is expected to strengthen Calderon's efforts.
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