Story highlights

The bodies were dismembered and burned

They were discovered along a highway in Michoacan

Various drug cartels operate in the area

(CNN) —  

Seven bodies that had been dismembered and burned were found in the western Mexican state of Michoacan on Saturday, authorities said.

According to the state prosecutor’s office, the grisly discovery was made along a highway during an early morning army patrol.

Seventeen bodies were found in the same area earlier this week.

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Various drug cartels – including the Knights Templar, La Familia Michoacana, the Zetas and the Jalisco New Generation – operate in the region and are battling for control.

Michoacan is Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s home state.

Shortly after taking office in December 2006, he announced plans to deploy federal troops to help the government’s fight against organized crime. Since then, more than 47,500 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico.

According to Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission, more than 5,300 people have disappeared throughout the country in that same time period, and the bodies of 9,000 dead have not been identified.

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CNNMexico.com contributed to this report.