Forty-nine headless corpses dumped on Mexican highway

49 bodies were found at the scene in Mexico
49 bodies were found at the scene in Mexico Photo: Reuters

Suspected drug gang killers dumped 49 headless bodies on a highway near Mexico's northern city of Monterrey in one of the country's worst atrocities in recent years.

The mutilated corpses of 43 men and six women, whose hands and feet had also been cut off, were found in a pile on a highway in the municipality of Cadereyta Jimenez , officials from the state of Nuevo Leon said.

"What's complicating the identification of all the people was that they were all headless," said Jorge Domene, the Nuevo Leon government's spokesman for public security, who said the other body parts were missing.

Domene said the brutal Zetas drug gang claimed responsibility for the murders in a message found at the scene.

The massacre was the latest in a string of mass slayings that have convulsed Mexico in recent months. Many of the killings have occurred in northern Mexico, where the Zetas have waged a war against rival groups for control of smuggling routes.

Graffiti at the scene possibly left by the gang responsible
Graffiti at the scene possibly left by the gang responsible Credit: Reuters