Survivor Says Mexican Drug Cartel Massacred 72 Migrants

Gunmen who identified themselves as members of the Zetas drug gang are the main suspects of a grisly massacre in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas that left 72 migrants dead on Tuesday, authorities said.

Police said on Wednesday that an Ecuadorian migrant who survived the carnage pointed at the Zetas cartel as the group who killed and dumped in a room the bodies of the 72 victims, 14 of them women. Soldiers found the bodies after engaging the alleged cartel in a firefight, which led to the death of one marine and three of the suspects. Authorities said the victims were probably South Americans who were hoping to cross over to the American border.

The wounded survivor alerted authorities of the massacre when he reached a highway checkpoint manned by Marines. The Ecuadorian, who admitted that he was an illegal migrant, told authorities that his fellow migrants were captured by gunmen and kept at a ranch in the town of San Fernando, around 100 miles south of Brownsville, Texas.

It was the third time this year that authorities have discovered mass killings in Mexico. In May, 55 bodies were found in a mine near the city of Taxco while 51 decaying corpses were found near a trash dump in Monterrey last month.