MEXICO CITY, May 14 (BERNAMA-NNN-XINHUA)) -- At least 49 mutilated human bodies were found Sunday next to a highway in the municipality of Cadereyta in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, Mexican authorities announced.
The number of mutilated bodies found on a road adjacent to Monterey amounts to 49, of whom 43 were men and six women, an official source said.
The authorities had initially counted 37 bodies dumped in black plastic bags beside the road in the morning.
The state prosecutor in Nuevo Leon, Adrian de la Garza, told a press conference that authorities received a report at around 4 a.m. (0900 GMT) on the presence of bodies, which were thrown from a truck at kilometre 47 of a highway that connects to the border city of Reynosa of Tamaulipas state on the border with the United States.
De la Garza said a message left near the scene may suggest that the extremely violent Zetas drug cartel was responsible, in which it confirmed the victims were from the Gulf Cartel and also launched threats against the Sinaloa Cartel and the state government.
The prosecutor said it will be harder to identify the victims, because all were decapitated and their hands were amputated.
"In all cases, to complicate the investigation, their heads and limbs had been cut off," he said.
The prosecutor said he had received no reports of missing people in recent days, "and less on that amount," so he did not rule out the possibility that "victims may be migrants" from other Latin American country.
Jorge Domene, a government security spokesman of Nuevo Leon, said some bodies have tattoos of the Santa Muerte, a religious cult popular among members of organised crime.
The spokesman said governor Rodrigo Medina had requested federal support for investigation to seek out those responsible for the slaughter.
This finding comes just four days after another 18 decapitated and mutilated bodies were found in two cars on a road near Guadalajara, Jalisco state capital, which was also attributed to the revenge of the drug cartels.
Mexico is experiencing an escalation of violence by disputes between drug cartels and military deployment for combat, leaving more than 47,000 dead in drug-related violence for the last five years.