Prosecutors in Mexico’s Veracruz state said Monday that they found the frozen, hacked-up bodies of at least 13 people in ice chests and freezers at two houses reportedly used by kidnappers.
“Unfortunately there could be more than 13 bodies, and it is probable that there are others in the process of identification,” Veronica Hernández, the chief prosecutor in the Gulf coast state, said of the bags of body parts discovered during a raid.
The prosecutor said six people have been arrested but did not offer a theory for why the gangs believed to be responsible froze the remains of their victims.
Hernández also did not provide details of the raid. Local media reported that police freed several people who had been abducted from the houses in the city of Poza Rica.
Veracruz Gov. Cuitláhuac Garcia claimed the killings resulted from disputes between rival gangs.
“We don’t want this type of account settling between criminal gangs to continue this way,” Garcia said.
He suggested the gang war involved the kidnapping and potential killing of the children of rival gang members, though he did not directly tie that to the frozen body parts.
Kidnapping gangs in Mexico usually dispose of the bodies of their victims by burying them in shallow, unmarked graves. More than 110,000 people are listed as missing in Mexico.