Forty-nine decapitated and mutilated bodies have been found on a highway connecting the northern Mexican metropolis of Monterrey to the U.S. border.
A law enforcement official says the bodies of 43 men and six women were found in the town of San Juan early this morning.
A Nuevo Leon state security spokesman says a banner left at the site bore a message with the Zetas drug cartel claiming responsibility for the massacre. He says bodies were found with the heads, hands and feet cut off which will make identification difficult.
The discovery echoes several recent cases in which drug gangs have left bodies scattered in public places as warnings to rivals.
So far this month, 23 bodies were found dumped or hanging in the city of Nuevo Laredo and 18 were found along a highway south of Guadalajara.