6 bodies found hanged from bridges near Mexican tourist resort

The bodies of six men were found Wednesday hanging from bridges in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur, the state’s attorney general’s office said.

Four bodies were found in the municipality of Los Cabos, the other two near the state capital of La Paz. The bodies were found suspended from three bridges located near the two main international airports and the highways leading to the popular beach resort of Cabo San Lucas.

Authorities have not released the identities of the deceased nor said who they believe to be responsible for the deaths.

Baja California Sur Gov. Carlos Mendoza Davis wrote on Twitter that he “condemns the acts and any expression of violence.”

The six cases are being investigated as homicides, the attorney general’s office said.

Violence in the Baja California Sur region has increased in the past three years, due to an ongoing territorial dispute between the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation drug cartels.

Mexico’s notoriously ruthless drug gangs have regularly hanged victims from bridges and highway overpasses in places like Mexico City, but it is unusual for bodies to be seen near tourist areas.

In August, the US State Department issued an updated travel warning, cautioning tourists that the state experienced an “increase in homicide rates” compared to the same period in 2016.

“While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by US citizens,” the State Department says.

Rodrigo Esponda, managing director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board, told HLN that the region is a “safe and secure destination, as it always has been.”

The area, which sees 2 million international visitors per year, will get 200 new police officers early next year.

Los Cabos is also making progress on expanding its surveillance system, Esponda told HLN, adding new cameras and wiring existing hotel security cameras into a centralized crime reporting system. A military base is being built, too, he said.