In an indigenous village in southern Mexico troubled by local disputes, 15 inhabitants have been killed by assailants in one of the most brutal attacks the countryside has seen in recent years.
Mexico's National Guard has been patrolling the area in San Mateo del Mar, in Oaxaca state, since the killings.
Image credit: Reuters
Over the last two days, state prosecutors in the state of Oaxaca have said the bodies of 13 men and two women were identified as victims of the savage attacks.
In a separate statement, Oaxaca state prosecutors said investigators are trying to identify what triggered the violence in Huazantlan del Rio, a small village of Ikoots (The Huave people of San Mateo del Mar), an ethnic group of Mexico.
The San Mateo del Mar municipal government, located east of the Pacific port of Salina Cruz, detailed in a statement that the attack was designed and carried out by at least six armed individuals with the support of a suspected local crime boss.
It is thought that the two women killed had been protesting against abuses by one of the suspected attackers, who described himself as a representative of the village.
The conflict stemmed from roadblocks organised in recent weeks by people claiming to represent Huazantlan de Rio authorities who wanted to cause trouble for their own means, the municipality said.
A number of the victims were tortured and even set alight, burning to their death. One man appeared to have been beaten with bricks.
Officials have added that no arrests have yet been made.