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MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) - Dead bodies of five police officers were found inside a car in the Mexican municipality of Zitacuaro, located in the country's western state of Michoacan, local media reported.
The men, who used to serve in the police of Michoacan's Tuzantla municipality, were kidnapped on 4 February by unidentified people. Since then, they have been registered as missing.
The prosecutors have established that the policemen had died of multiple gunshot wounds, Excelsior media outlet specified. A letter was found near their bodies, while its content has not been revealed.
Two major crime syndicates — La Familia Michoacana and Knights Templar Cartel — are reportedly operating in Michoacan, which has long suffered from drug-related crime. The syndicates, along with other cartels, are engaged in a vigorous struggle for spheres of influence.
The war against crime, unprecedented in its intensity, began in Mexico in 2006 under then-President Felipe Calderon, who summoned army units for operations against drug mafia, reformed the Mexican federal police and announced a hunt for the most notorious leaders of the Mexican criminal world.
The successor to Calderon, Enrique Pena Nieto, continued the policy of his predecessor. Under his rule, the police killed or arrested a number of famous drug lords, including the head of the Sinaloa Cartel, Joaquin Guzman Loers, nicknamed El Chapo ("Shorty").
The incumbent president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said in January that Mexico has stopped the "war" against the country's drug mafia, stressing that the government was concentrating on public safety, and reducing the number of murders, robberies and kidnappings.
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