The burned bodies of five men were found Thursday inside a vehicle abandoned on a highway in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila, state officials said.
The grisly find was made under a bridge in the town of Ramos Arizpe around 6:00 a.m., when the SUV was searched by police responding to a telephone tip, Coahuila security spokesman Jesus Carranza told Efe.
The victims, whose bodies were almost completely burned, had been tied up and shot in the head, Carranza said.
The SUV was abandoned on the highway that links Saltillo, the capital of Coahuila, and Monterrey, the capital of Nuevo Leon state.
State and municipal police officers, as well as Coahuila Attorney General's Office investigators, gathered evidence at the crime scene and removed the bodies.
Los Zetas, considered Mexico's most violent drug cartel, controls Coahuila, but other gangs have been trying to make inroads in the region.
Marines captured Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, the Zetas cartel's top boss, early Monday along with a bodyguard and the cartel's money manager outside Nuevo Laredo, a city across the Rio Grande from Laredo, Texas.
Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, one of the cartel's founders and its former top boss, was killed in a shootout with marines in Coahuila state on Oct. 7, 2012.
Lazcano, known as "El Lazca," deserted from the Mexican army in 1999 and formed Los Zetas with three other soldiers, all members of an elite special operations unit, becoming the armed wing of the Gulf drug cartel.
After several years on the payroll of the Gulf cartel, Los Zetas, considered Mexico's most violent criminal organization, went into the drug business on their own account and now control several lucrative territories.
The arrest of Treviño Morales, known as "Z40," could lead to a surge in violence in northern Mexico as the cartel's other bosses fight for control of the country's second-largest criminal organization, analysts said. EFE