Defying all odds, after being shot and hung from a bridge over a busy highway in Monterrey, Mexico a teenager was dramatically rescued alive on Wednesday. 

Authorities said that another man, found alongside the teen, was dead by the time rescuers arrived, and a third was found dead below.

Witnesses told police that a group of gunmen descended from a vehicle and hanged the men off a bridge around 10 a.m., stopping traffic along one of the busiest routes in Mexico's third-largest city, which has been plagued by drug-gang violence.

All three of the men had been shot and tortured, and their hands were bound with duct tape, said a Nuevo Leon state police investigator who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case.

The dead man, estimated to be in his early 20s, dangled lifelessly in a blue shirt and plaid shorts. Bound in his hands was a cell phone, a possible sign that he was considered an informant.

Police said none of the victims had been identified.

Two other men, one with a foot cut off, were hanged by their necks from a pedestrian bridge Sunday in Monterrey. Both died.

The city has seen a spike of violence since the Gulf and Zeta cartels began fighting for control of drug traffic there two years ago.

In a state where the drug cartel La Familia is based, police discovered 21 bodies piled up at six different sites in the outskirts of Morelia, the capital of Michoacán.

Officials said Wednesday they had found 26 bodies, but later in the evening Michoacán attorney general Jesus Montejano confirmed police had found 21 bodies and were still looking at a seventh report of five more bodies.

Montejano said all the murders are connected but said it was too soon to know the motives for the crimes. The victims appeared to have been asphyxiated -- either hanged or drowned -- and all showed signs of torture, officials said.

More than 35,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence across Mexico since President Felipe Calderón launched an offensive against drug cartels when he took office in December 2006.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press. 

Warning: Graphic content included in this video.

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