7 dismembered bodies found outside church in Mexico

A general view of a beach is seen, while Tropical Storm Max approaches in Acapulco, Mexico September 14, 2017.
A general view of a beach is seen, while Tropical Storm Max approaches in Acapulco, Mexico September 14, 2017. | REUTERS/Troy Merida

Authorities in Chilpancingo, the capital of Mexico's Guerrero state, have reportedly found seven dismembered bodies in an SUV parked outside the San Mateo Catholic Church this past weekend, according to reports.

The major national newspaper Milenio reports that the Guerrero Attorney General's Office identified most of the seven bodies discovered by authorities last Friday belonged to members of the Peralta Catalan family. The family had been missing since June 9, Border Report relayed Monday.

Four of the deceased have been identified as 38-year-old Eloy Peralta García, his wife, Elizabeth Catalan Olalde,39; his son Diego Gael Peralta Catalan, 17; and his girlfriend Brithani Castro Santiago, 16. The family reportedly disappeared on a drive from Chilpancingo to the popular resort town of Acapulco, about 70 miles southwest of the city.

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According to Milenio, there's no indication of whether the bodies of three other men seen in two kidnap videos with the Peralta Catalan family have been claimed by loved ones.

Guerrero state authorities are investigating the circumstances leading to the violence.

"Evidence containing relevant information was found at the crime scene, which will be analyzed and used in the investigation," the attorney general's office said in a statement.

Authorities found handwritten signs threatening the mayor of Chilpancingo and a second city official at the crime scene, according to Border Report. These signs, now widely circulated on social media, also contained threats against alleged leaders of local criminal gangs.

A week earlier, friends and relatives of the Peralta Catalan family organized a protest, demanding action from local authorities in the search for their missing loved ones. 

The increasing level of violence in Chilpancingo mirrors a broader trend across the Guerrero state, a region that has seen escalating conflict over the past four years.

Notably, criminal competition is fierce for rival drug gangs in the state, including the Jalisco New Generation Cartel and Familia Michoacana. These powerful organizations have been vying for control over the lucrative drug trade routes and local criminal enterprises in Guerrero.

Once primarily known for its sunny beachside resorts like Acapulco, the state is now synonymous with escalating violence and gang warfare.

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