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5 bodies found piled in bulletproof SUV in Mexico, 7 others discovered near U.S. border

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Prosecutors in the violent western Mexican state of Jalisco said Wednesday they found five dead bodies piled in a bulletproof SUV, while near the Arizona border authorities found seven more bodies.

The state prosecutors’ office said someone called an emergency number to report the vehicle Tuesday. Inside, police found the bodies of five men “with visible signs of violence.” The office did not specify how the men were killed.

The SUV was found on a road in Villa de Corona, which is south of Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco state.

The state is home to the drug cartel of the same name. The Department of Justice considers the Jalisco cartel to be “one of the five most dangerous transnational criminal organizations in the world.” The cartel’s leader, Nemesio Oseguera, “El Mencho,” is among the most sought by Mexican and U.S. authorities.

Mexican drug cartels frequently use either homemade or professionally made bulletproof vehicles, as well as military-grade weapons.

Also Wednesday, prosecutors in the northern border state of Sonora said seven bodies were found just off a road near the town of Puerto Peñasco, on the Gulf of California, also known as the Sea of Cortez.

Prosecutors said that the victims were all men wearing military-style gear, and had all been shot to death. Their bodies were found near the Gulf of Santa Clara, just west of Puerto Peñasco.

They identified one of the dead men as a local leader of one faction of the Sinaloa drug cartel who had operated largely in the border city of Mexicali. In keeping with Mexican regulations, they identified the man only by his alias, “El Pía.” His identity was confirmed by fingerprint records, officials said.

Different factions of the Sinaloa cartel have been fighting for trafficking routes in the area.

The head of the DEA told CBS News that the Jalisco and Sinaloa cartels are the two Mexican cartels behind the influx of fentanyl into the U.S. that’s killing tens of thousands of Americans.

The sons of drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman were among 28 Sinaloa cartel members charged in a massive fentanyl-trafficking investigation announced last year.

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