Officials say 16 bodies have been found dumped across a turbulent Mexican state on the Texas border two days after the arrest of one of the region's top drug bosses.
Analysts predicted that the arrest of Gulf cartel head Eduardo Costilla Sanchez could set off a struggle for control of his smuggling routes and territory between Mexico's two most powerful remaining criminal groups, the Sinaloa cartel and the Zetas.
The Tamaulipas attorney-general's office said nine male bodies, eight shot to death and one hanging from a bridge, were found in the frontier city of Nuevo Laredo. One was a teenager, the rest adults. Near the town of San Fernando, seven bodies, most bound, were found dumped near the former mass grave where 74 migrants were found in August, 2010.