Authorities announced Monday the remains of five university students were found in a vehicle in north-central Mexico, according to CBS.
All of the victims were university-aged males and were found stuffed inside a vehicle down a dirt road in a rural part of Mexico, near the city of Celaya, Guanajuato, according to CBS. It’s believed all five attended Latina University of Mexico, which is located in the same area. The school suspended classes Monday to allow students and staff a day of mourning.
Ante los condenables hechos ocurridos en la región Laja-Bajío, donde cobardemente han arrebatado la vida de 5 jóvenes, he instruido a las instituciones estatales de seguridad implementar un operativo exhaustivo con apoyo de las dependencias federales y municipales para reforzar… pic.twitter.com/MwuG2VuJCm
— Diego Sinhue Rodríguez Vallejo (@diegosinhue) December 4, 2023
According to local media reports, the five men were shot to death, but prosecutors have not confirmed this at the time of writing, per CBS.
Lamentamos y condenamos los hechos ocurridos en Celaya; por instrucciones del Gobernador Diego Sinhue mantenemos comunicación constante con las autoridades de los diferentes órdenes de gobierno para que este hecho no quede impune. https://t.co/1YFRnEkOUT
— Jesús Oviedo (@JesusOviedoH) December 4, 2023
“Given the condemnable events that occurred in the Laja-Bajío region, where the lives of 5 young people have been cowardly taken, I have instructed the state security institutions to implement an exhaustive operation with the support of federal and municipal agencies to reinforce security in the region and Find those responsible as soon as possible, these acts will not go unpunished,” Guanajuato Governor Diego Sinhue Rodríguez Vallejo said on Twitter (translated from Spanish). (RELATED: 14 Killed, Dozens Escape After Suspected Cartels Open Fire On Mexican Prison Near US Border)
The murders are the latest event in a string of cartel-borne violence throughout the region and the rest of Mexico. In June, a cartel set off a car bomb in Celaya, which was aimed at local law enforcement, CBS reported. One National Guard officer was reportedly killed, and the Santa Rosa de Lima cartel was blamed for the attack. (RELATED: Caught In The Crossfire’: Border Town Residents Flee In Droves As Warring Cartels Burn Houses, Battle In The Streets)
Cartel activity has reportedly more than found itself state-side of the border, with organized drug-related trafficking and operations happening as far north as Alaska. A majority of cartel-led organized crime revolves around the trafficking of people, fentanyl and other illegal drugs.
Fentanyl trafficking, use and related deaths have skyrocketed to epidemic levels in recent years, helped largely by cheap Chinese manufacturing of the substance, and the open southern border with Mexico.