Mexican police patrol in a street of Culiacan, state of Sinaloa, Mexico. (File photo: AFP)

Body parts publicly displayed around Mexico’s Toluca city, suspected cartel activity

Mexican police patrol in a street of Culiacan, state of Sinaloa, Mexico. (File photo: AFP)

A violent drug cartel is suspected of leaving a severed human leg found hanging from a pedestrian bridge Wednesday in the city of Toluca, just west of Mexico City.

The trunk of the body was left on the street below the bridge near the city’s center, along with handwritten signs signed by the Familia Michoacana cartel.

Other parts of the body were found later in another neighborhood, also with handwritten drug cartels signs nearby. The victim was apparently a man aged between 35 and 40.

Then parts of at least one other body were found elsewhere in the city.

Police discovered a dismembered body in a neighborhood on the city’s east side, along with a sign similar to those in the first case.

Later, in an industrial neighborhood on the north side, parts of a body were found in a burning car. Authorities were investigating whether they were parts of the second dismembered body.

The mayor of Toluca, which is the capital of the State of Mexico, appealed for calm. The Familia Michoacana has dominated rural areas in the state for years, but may now be trying to take over the state capital.

“The issue of crime brings us all together, and we all have to fight it,” said Mayor Raymundo Martínez Carbajal.

Last week, threatening banners were left in another suburb of Toluca, and they were also signed by the Familia Michoacana.

The gang originated in the neighboring state of Michoacan in the early 2000s, and while it has been largely chased out of its home state, it has found a new lease on life in the State of Mexico and neighboring Guerrero state.

The Familia Michoacana has become known for carrying out ruthless, bloody ambushes of police in Mexico State and local residents in Guerrero.

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