A dog running down the street with a human head in its mouth shocked residents in a town in north-central Mexico.
It was confirmed Thursday afternoon that police in Zacatecas, a state that is plagued by violence, wrestled the head from the dog’s mouth.
Several body parts were found in the town of Monte Escobedo late Wednesday, according to a law enforcement official who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.
After a stray dog stole the corpse’s head before police could act, the corpse’s remains were left with messages referencing a drug cartel.
In a video posted on social media, the dog appears to be carrying the head by the neck, apparently intending to take it to a safe place for eating.
Local gangs backed by the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels have been fighting a bloody turf war in Zacatecas.
To intimidate rivals and authorities, Mexican drug cartels often leave notes alongside heaps of dismembered human remains.
Seven men’s bodies were found in a popular tourist area in June with warning messages written on their corpses referencing the Gulf Cartel, which operates mainly along the U.S. border.
On a car roof in Mexico, six severed heads were discovered in April with a sign warning others: “This will happen to anyone who messes around.”
It was announced last month that the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) would unleash mass violence in cities throughout Northern Baja California against anyone roaming the streets.
This message read in Spanish: “Be warned. From Friday at 10 p.m. until Sunday at 3 a.m. we’re going to create mayhem so the government (expletive) frees our people. It’s best for good people not to go outside on these days, we’re the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, and we don’t want to hurt them. We’ll attack anyone we see outside.”
Several vehicles were set on fire in Tijuana and on the highway leading to Rosarito, a beach community south of the city, that Friday.