35 bodies found in Mexican roadway during rush hour

General view of the scene where 35 bodies were found at the Adolfo Ruiz Cortinez Blvd in Boca del Rio municipality, Veracruz State, Mexico, on September 20.

Story highlights

  • Police say they are combing the area to search for suspects
  • The bodies were found near a shopping mall in Veracruz state
  • The dead included 12 women and 23 men
  • The state prosecutor says trucks carrying the bodies were abandoned in rush-hour traffic

At least 35 human bodies were found in a roadway during rush-hour traffic in the Mexican coastal state of Veracruz Tuesday, the state attorney general said.

Police in the eastern state found two trucks carrying the bodies near a shopping mall in the municipality of Boca del Rio, Attorney General Reynaldo Escobar Perez said.

¨An event like this is unprecedented," he said. ¨It hasn´t happened before in the state of Veracruz.¨

Seven of the dead had been identified by Tuesday evening. A government database indicated that they had criminal backgrounds including extortion, homicide and drug trafficking, he said.

The dead included 12 women and 23 men. Their bodies showed signs of violence, Escobar said, without providing further details.

After blocking traffic, the two trucks were abandoned in the middle of the road, witnesses said. Their gates were left open, allowing bodies to fall out.

Hours later, blood stains remained on the road as troops stood guard.

    Boca del Rio is in Veracruz state´s most populated area. It has become a frequent site of clashes between armed groups as drug-related violence grows.

    Authorities were combing the area in search of suspects, police said in a Twitter post.

    They were also beefing up security along the state´s borders, Escobar said.

    Earlier Tuesday, 32 inmates escaped from three prisons in Veracruz, authorities said. At least 14 of them had been apprehended by Tuesday night.

    Escobar said none of the bodies that had been identified by Tuesday night appeared connected with the prison breaks.

    After the bodies were found, Mexico´s interior minister called the state´s governor to offer his support, the state-run Notimex news agency reported.