03/14/13 – Early in the morning on Friday, March 8, five bodies were found on public display in Saltillo, Coahuila, the state capital. All five bodies were found wrapped from head to toe in white sheets, and two of them had duct tape covering their faces as well. Authorities indicate that the victims–all of whom were male–were killed by blunt force trauma, although three of them were found hanging from the Valle Dorado bridge on the Luis Echeverría Álvarez highway, while the other two were on the ground beneath them. Municipal police, who responded to the scene, discovered a narcomanta, or narco-banner, alongside the bodies, though the contents of that message are not clear.
Special operations police, municipal police, members of the Mexican military (Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional, SEDENA), and agents from the State Attorney General’s Office (Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado, PGJE) arrived on the scene. While none of the victims had identification on them, investigations, which are still underway, have led authorities to identify three of the five individuals: Eran Alejandro Banda Tovar, 16, construction worker; Carlos Eduardo Rodriguez Cedillo, 28, car mechanic; and Eusebio Hernández Estrada, 38, taxi driver. According to the PGJE, Banda Tovar and Rodriguez Cedillo were kidnapped by a group of armed men two days before their bodies were found. For his part, Hernández was last seen on March 3.
This is not the first case of bodies found hanged in public in Mexico as rival organized crime groups and drug cartels often send messages to one another through such public and visual displays. Last May, for example, nine bodies were found in Tamaulipas. Nevertheless, it is still unclear who was behind the recent killings in Coahuila as investigations are ongoing.