The mutilated corpses of three Mexicans were found dumped on the street with their detached heads inside of sombreros, just three days before the country’s celebration of Independence Day. The bodies, identified as brothers Juan Salvador Patiño Leon, 27, and Jorge Luis, 31, were found on one of the main streets in the city of Xalapa, and the third body belonged to Denisse Yazaret Morales Juárez, 28, the girlfriend of one of the men. All three were reported missing on September 12th, and their bodies were found the following day, just two days before the remembrance of the country's battle for independence from Spain. Although police have not yet confirmed the reason behind the killings, it is believed that the manner in which their bodies were displayed indicates it was a gang-related crime.
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The three bodies were found wrapped in black garbage bags tied with brown parcel tape, two brooms laid over the top of them and on top of each of the bodies was a sombrero containing the severed heads of the victims. The hats were decorated with the colors of the national flag. The reason behind the inclusion of the sombrero hats isn’t clear but could be tied to the upcoming celebration and festivals– could be a way of mocking the deaths of the victims. The disturbing way in which their bodies were mutilated and displayed indicates they were most likely murdered by a drug cartel.
Locals claim the brothers, from Union, Nautla in Veracruz, came from a family with a long history linking to criminal activity. 'Their father Jorge Patino was a kidnapper and murderer, and now he's in jail,' one commenter wrote. 'One of their uncles... disappeared for the same thing. Here they continue just like their aunt, dedicated to drugging themselves and threatening people. Other members of their family are in jail in the US.’ 'In other words, they are all scum.'
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The sombrero is one of the symbols of the North Californian-based cartel Norteños. However, this particular crime hasn’t been directly tied to them. Earlier this week another man, Antonio Mota Perez, 56, was also killed in the city, forcing government officials to speak out against the 'rising violence' in the area. Americo Zuniga Martinez, the mayor of Xalapa, condemned the violence and called on locals to stay calm during this period of unrest.