CANCUN, Mexico — At least eight bodies, many dismembered, were found scattered in multiple areas throughout the popular resort town Cancun, according to the Associated Press.
The grisly discoveries were made over the course of a few hours just after midnight on Tuesday.
The bodies of a man and a woman were found in the trunk of an abandoned taxi around 12:44 a.m. Proceso News reports that they appeared to have been executed.
According to Riviera Maya News, the taxi was parked in the Chedraui de la Multiplaza shopping mall. The taxi driver fled before police arrived.
Roughly 20 minutes later, investigators found the body of a man with his hands tied, who had been shot in the head two times, according to Proceso.
In another location, they found the remains of two people that had been dismembered and stuffed in multiple plastic bags, prosecutors said.
In two other locations, authorities found another body that had been covered with a plastic bag, as well as a man who had been shot and killed while lying on a hammock.
Officials didn’t immediately provide details about the eighth person found dead.
None of the crime scenes were located in the resort area of the tourist hotspot that extends around the Nichupté Lagoon, but on the mainland.
Violence in the Cancun area has been on the rise.
In April, 14 people were killed and five more injured in a 36-hour span between the morning of April 4 and the evening of April 5. Nine people were killed on April 4 alone.
The killings are thought to be linked to organized crime.
As a precaution, the U.S. State Department has issued a travel advisory to several areas of Mexico.
“Exercise increased caution in Mexico due to crime. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.
Violent crime, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery, is widespread.
The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in many areas of Mexico as U.S. government employees are prohibited from travel to these areas.
U.S. government employees are prohibited from intercity travel after dark in many areas of Mexico. U.S. government employees are also not permitted to drive from the U.S.-Mexico border to or from the interior parts of Mexico with the exception of daytime travel on Highway 15 between Nogales and Hermosillo.”
Do not travel to:
- Colima state due to crime.
- Guerrero state due to crime.
- Michoacán state due to crime.
- Sinaloa state due to crime.
- Tamaulipas state due to crime.
If you decide to travel to Mexico:
- Use toll roads when possible and avoid driving at night.
- Exercise increased caution when visiting local bars, nightclubs, and casinos.
- Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
- Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Mexico.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.