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Mexico vigilante leader dies; 4 bodies found

July 26, 2019

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The leader of one of Mexico’s most violent vigilante groups died after hitting his head on a rock, prosecutors in southern Guerrero state said Friday.

The state prosecutors’ office said that Tranquilino Palatzin was drunk when he fell while walking along a rocky path.

He was the leader of the Peace and Justice group of the township of Chilapa, which is believed to be allied with a local drug gang.

Separately, police said they found the remains of four men in a wooded area on the southern outskirts of Mexico City where bodies have been dumped in the past. The men’s identities and the possible motive in the killings are still under investigation.

In central Puebla state, Mexico’s new National Guard force said Friday some of its officers were also attacked with rocks and sticks by townspeople.

Residents of the town of Tepeaca had previously abducted employees of oil company Pemex in retaliation against efforts aimed at stopping local people from drilling illegal taps into state-owned pipelines.

The area has been plagued by such thefts.

The National Guard said its officers were able to rescue the Pemex employees and disperse the crowd.

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