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Bodies of escaped prisoners found hanging from bridge in Mexico

By Nick Valencia, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The prisoners had escaped earlier in the day
  • Their bodies were found in an area that is a fierce battleground for warring drug groups

(CNN) -- The bodies of three convicts who escaped from a local prison were found hanging from a bridge Tuesday in the central Mexican city of Cuernavaca, the Morelos State Attorney General's Office said.

The attorney general's comments were reported by the state-run news agency Notimex.

The three men had escaped from the Atlacholoaya prison, in the municipality of Xochitepec, Tuesday morning.

Several hours later, the men were found hanging in an area that has become a fierce battleground between members of the fractured Beltran Leyva Cartel, which has splintered into warring groups since the death of its co-founder Arturo Beltrán Leyva in December 2009.

Mexican-American Edgar Valdez, known by his moniker "La Barbie," claims he is the new leader of the cartel. Those loyal to the cartel's co-founder deny he is the leader, federal police say.

He is thought to be the first American born cartel leader in Mexico.