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Violent Uptick in Opposite Parts of Mexico: 22 Dead in Nuevo Leon, 21 Dead in Guerrero

Since Friday, violent attacks or gruesome discoveries of corpses have rocked wealthy Nuevo Leon and poverty-stricken Guerrero, where most of the violence was centered in the resort of Acapulco.

by Gabriela Gorbea and David Espino
Jun 23 2015, 12:55pm

Imagen por Javier Verdin/VICE News

Twenty-two people were killed or found dead last weekend in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, raising concerns over another uptick of violence in the wealthy northern state and posing an early challenge to its independent governor-elect, Jaime "El Bronco" Rodriguez.

On the other side of the country, in the troubled southern state of Guerrero, 21 people were killed or found in clandestine graves between Friday and Monday, centered mostly around the coastal resort city of Acapulco.

The violent weekend in Nuevo Leon began on June 19, when gunmen stormed a beer depot in the suburb of Garcia, near the state capital of Monterrey, leaving 10 people dead.

State prosecutor Javier Flores Saldivar called the shooting a dispute between organized crime groups for drug-selling territory, since the depot is thought to be a distribution center for former members of the Zeta drug cartel. Weapons and 15 pounds of marijuana were found inside.

But the victims' relatives disagreed with the prosecutor's version, and told local news outlets the victims were mostly customers and employees of the depot. Twelve other people were killed or found dead in and around Monterrey during the weekend.

Related: So Just How Maverick Is the Mexican Elections Indie Winner 'El Bronco'?

Relatives of victims wait for word on their loved ones outside the Garcia beer depot where 10 people were killed on Friday. (Photo via EPA)

The governor-elect of Nuevo Leon, Jaime Rodriguez, or "El Bronco," took to Facebook to display his anger over the violence, which he said had been unseen in the region in four years.

"We should not allow the return of this wave of violence, which the current authorities claim everyday is under control," Rodriguez wrote, urging authorities to clarify the circumstances of the killings.

In Guerrero, most of the violence was centered in Acapulco, where shootouts and executions claimed five lives on Saturday, six on Sunday, and five more on Monday. In addition, five people were found in separate unmarked graves across the city. One of the victims, according to reports from the scene, was female.

The violence in the Monterrey area alarmed residents and officials.

On Friday, two dead bodies were found near a road in the municipality of Apodaca, within the Monterrey urban area. The corpses, presumably belonging to a couple, received gunshot wounds to the head. Authorities said the victims were likely abducted from their home, murdered, and then left off the road.

That same day, a shootout between police and a group of armed men in the Vallecillo municipality, in northern Nuevo Leon, left one dead man.

Another attack took place on June 20, when four people were murdered inside a house located in the southern Independencia district of Monterrey. The victims, three women, one of them pregnant, and one man, died of gunshot wounds.

Adding to the violence, five men were found dead in the metropolitan area on Sunday. Three of the corpses, all of them with bruises and gunshot wounds, were found in Del Valle, an exclusive area located inside the upscale San Pedro municipality.

One of the corpses appeared outside the house of Marcial Herrera, the recently appointed chief of security for San Pedro.

Another body, displaying similar injuries, was found in the Guadalupe municipality. And a fifth man, a shop owner, died Sunday morning after being shot by attackers in a car the previous day.

The state's current governor, Rodrigo Medina, claimed a "readjustment" of criminal organizations is largely to blame for the weekend spike in violence.

"The violence is provoked by cartels that operate in the northeastern part of the country, and presumably some of these cases are a settling of scores or readjustments of these criminal groups," Medina said.

Separately on Saturday, Mexican soldiers killed six gunmen in a shootout in the border city of Matamoros, Tamaulipas state.

Related: 'Only Two Cartels Are Left in Mexico', Government Official Claims

Follow @VICENews on Twitter to get the latest updates on Mexico's drug war.

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