MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican authorities yesterday blamed a surge of killings in Veracruz on a group linked to Mexico’s most powerful drug lord, Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman, who has been fighting a turf war with rivals in the port city.
Navy spokesman Jose Luis Vergara said 32 bodies found on Thursday in Veracruz and another 35 dumped there on Sept. 20 were the work of the “Jalisco New Generation” cartel (CJNG), a group with close ties to Guzman’s Sinaloa cartel.
A group called the “Zeta Killers” claimed responsibility for the deaths, but Vergara said the name was created by the CJNG to threaten one of Mexico’s most notorious and brutal drug gangs, the Zetas. Authorities have been eager to dispel the idea that independent vigilantes have formed paramilitary groups to target drug trafficking gangs.
“It must be underlined they are another organized crime group hostile to … the Zetas, a cartel with whom they are fighting for control over activities and illegal funds in Veracruz,” Vergara said in a televised statement.
“No criminal acts or propaganda will make the state withdraw,” he added.
The 32 corpses were found just two days after the Mexican government unveiled a plan to bolster security in Veracruz state, of which the port of the same name is the biggest city.
Founded by army special forces deserters, the Zetas were once an elite group concentrated in northern Mexico who acted as the armed wing of the Gulf Cartel.
But since splitting with their former bosses