Bodies of 18 people riddled with bullets were found in northern Mexico after a shootout between members of the rival Jalisco cartel and the Sinaloa cartel.

According to Rocio Aguilar, state security department spokeswoman, the bodies were discovered in a remote, rural area in the state of Zacatecas on Friday, June 25. 

Aguilar noted that there was evidence that the deaths in the town of Valparaiso resulted from a confrontation between gunmen from the Jalisco cartel and the Sinaloa cartel fighting over turf.

NDTV reported that three vehicles, one of which was burned, were also discovered at the scene. The government's Local Coordination Group, which is in charge of the security in Zacatecas, said there was also a significant number of casings of different calibers left on the scene.

Warring Mexican Drug Cartels in Mexico

The Friday shootout between the Mexican drug cartels came two days after the bodies of two police officers were found hanging from an overpass in the state capital of Zacatecas, and seven people were discovered shot to death in the neighbor city of Fresnillo, the Guardian reported.

Before the bodies were found, the police officers from the neighboring state of San Luis Potosi have been reported missing hours earlier. 

Mexican drug cartels have been known to hang their victim's bodies from overpasses to send a message to rivals or authorities. But they seldom do the act with members of law enforcement agents.

So far, Aguilar said authorities have yet to find a link between the series of shootouts on Wednesday and Friday's gun battle.

The increasing number of deaths in the state had been suspected to be related to turf battles between the Jalisco cartel and the Sinaloa cartel. 

The Friday's gunbattle also followed the incident at the U.S.-Mexico border, which took the lives of 19 people last weekend.

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Clashing Jalisco Cartel and Sinaloa Cartel

Violence related to drugs and cartels has taken more than 300,000 lives in Mexico since 2006. This drug-related violence not only concerns the Jalisco cartel and Sinaloa cartel but also other drug groups who fight for dominance as well.

The state of Zacatecas has been the scene of fights between several Mexican drug cartels. It was previously dominated by the old Zetas cartel.

At present, the Jalisco cartel, Sinaloa cartel, Gulf cartel, Northeast cartel, and the remnants of the Zetas, who call themselves "Talibans," are the groups fighting to dominate the state.

Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador acknowledged on Friday, June 25, that the region has a huge security problem. However, he emphasized that his administration was making strides in the fight against crime and drug-related violence.

Lopez Obrador added that the state had an obligation to guarantee the peace and security of all citizens.

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