2 men decapitated, 2 women killed on Mexico border

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CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (AP) — Police found two severed heads and the bullet-ridden bodies of two women and a disabled man in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, the latest chapter in Mexico’s increasingly gory drug war.

The killing of women or the disabled has been rare in a conflict that has cost more than 15,000 lives in the past three years. But drug gangs appear to using such killings — and progressively more gruesome mutilations — to intimidate rivals and the public.

Prosecutors in northern Chihuahua state, where Ciudad Juarez is located, said the first man’s body was found on a street late Friday with its hands and head cut off. Between the hands was a message with characteristics similar to those usually left by organized crime gangs.

Another man’s body, with its head cut off and eyes gouged out, was found elsewhere. Mexican news media reported that a handwritten message was found nearby but Mexican police rarely disclose the contents of such notes, which the cartels use to insult and intimidate their rivals.

The two women’s bodies were found in a vacant lot in Ciudad Juarez late Friday.

The body of a man whose legs had been surgically amputated some time ago was also found Friday on a dirt road on the outskirts of Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas.

Also Friday, a man riding a bicycle was shot to death in the city, five people were killed in drive-by shootings and a group of three men were shot to death at a fast-food restaurant near a school.

On Thursday, police in the northern city of Los Mochis, in the northwestern state of Sinaloa, found the dismembered body of a man whose face had been skinned and stitched onto a soccer ball.