ACAPULCO: A weekend of violence killed at least 16 people in Mexico’s troubled southern state of Guerrero as shootings erupted at a cockfight and a football field, police said.
Twelve people were killed, including two minors, and five others were wounded when a gunfight erupted between armed civilians at Sunday night’s cockfight in Cuajinicuilapa, the state prosecutor’s office said.
The prosecutor’s office said in a statement that the cause of the gun battle was under investigation.
A senior state police official told Agence France-Presse that “some of the dead were taken away by their relatives minutes before security forces arrived” while the wounded were taken to a nearby hospital.
Authorities had earlier reported that 10 people were killed and seven wounded.
Cuajinicuilapa, which lies near the state of Oaxaca, is famous for its mixture of cultures derived from descendants of African slaves.
The area is not known for the type of violence that has plagued other parts of Guerrero, such as the Pacific resort of Acapulco or mountain regions of the interior beset by drug cartel turf wars.
Acapulco has become Mexico’s murder capital, with the violence leaving four dead and three wounded after an amateur football game on the outskirts of the city on Sunday, municipal police said.
The attack took place in broad daylight when gunmen burst onto the field and shot at the players as they were relaxing after the game.
Relatives of the victims removed the bodies before the authorities arrived, police said.
Authorities found bullet casings matching the caliber of AR-15 assault rifles as well as shotguns and handguns.
There were no apparent links between Sunday’s two shootings.
Guerrero is the state where 43 teacher college students disappeared after they were abducted by local police in the city of Iguala on September 26, 2014.
Prosecutors say the officers handed the students over to the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel, which killed them, incinerated their bodies at a landfill in the town of Cocula and threw bags of remains in a nearby river.
The case has renewed interest in the plight of the 25,000 people who remain missing across Mexico.
It also led to the discovery of more bodies buried in clandestine graves around the region.
A group of citizens dubbed “The Committee of the Other Disappeared of Iguala” found human bones in another pit on Sunday near the city.
The group, which was created a year ago, claims to have found 105 human remains in 60 mass graves, of which 13 have been identified and 11 delivered to relatives of the victims.
The members of the group use picks and shovels to find human remains, even though they say authorities have ordered them to stop.
Authorities “can put me in jail, but we are alone,” said committee leader Mario Vergara, whose brother Tomas is missing.
“We will keep looking for our relatives, even though the federal government doesn’t want us to.”