Six men found murdered and dismembered at a rural area in Mexico were believed to be victims of an attack launched by a rival Mexican drug cartel.

The victims' bodies showed severe torture marks, but forensic personnel of the Michoacan State Attorney General's Office said they were killed by asphyxiation, The Rio Times reported.

Authorities said the mutilated bodies were found in a town called El Zapote at the municipality of Villa Jimenez in Michoacan state at around 2 p.m. The six bodies were already brought to the Forensic Medical Service to be identified and eventually claimed by their relatives.

The Michoacan State Attorney General's Office said the investigation revolves around the possibility that the brutal attack resulted from revenge between Mexican drug cartels, which is usually happening in Michoacan.

According to the Michoacan Public Security Secretariat, Mexican drug cartels, namely the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, the Knights Templar, and the New Michoacan Family, operate in Villa Jimenez and nearby municipalities.

There were reports of a serious wave of regular violence between Mexican drug cartels looking to establish their dominance around the state, with regions of Tierra Caliente, Costa, and Bajo being the hot spots.

Mexican drug cartels are fighting for the production and trafficking of drugs like marijuana, "poppy," and methamphetamine in the regions of Costa, Tierra Caliente, and Bajio, The Daily Star reported.

The brutal attacks by gunmen had occurred just months before Alfredo Ramirez Bedolla takes office on October 1 as governor of the state after winning the elections on June 6.

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Revenge Attacks by Mexican Drug Cartels Like Jalisco Cartel

Jalisco cartel has been known for bloody killing and dismembering bodies, with some of their actions being recorded on video.

In March, a known presumed head of the Nueva Plaza Cartel was found with his body wrapped in plastic on a park bench in downtown Tlaquepaque, which is in Mexico's state of Jalisco.

He was identified as Carlos Enrique Sanchez with a moniker "El Cholo," USA Today reported. His body was stuck with two knives with pinned signs reading that he was "the traitor, El Cholo." 

El Cholo was considered to be the right-hand man of Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, commonly known by his alias "El Mencho," before he left the group.

El Mencho is a suspected leader of the Jalisco cartel and was known to be one of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's most-wanted drug lords.

El Cholo separated from the Jalisco cartel in 2017 after reportedly ordering the killing of Marcos Hernandez, who is a cartel financial operator that told El Mencho about robberies that El Cholo was allegedly responsible for.

El Cholo formed his own gang, the "Nueva Plaza Cartel," who was supported by the Sinaloa Cartel, one of the Jalisco cartel's biggest enemies. El Cholo's Nueva Plaza Cartel and the Jalisco cartel fought over the years to control Mexico's western states.

Marisol Ochoa, a Tamaulipas security expert at Mexico's Iberoamericana University, earlier said that the violent rampage of Mexican drug cartels could have been to dispel any sense of security among the population.

Ochoa noted that sowing fear among the general population is also an instrument for criminal groups, InSight Crime reported.

The U.S. has partnered closely with its southern neighbor in its fight against Mexican drug cartels by providing Mexico billions of funding to modernize its security forces.

The funding was also given to reform its judicial system and make other investments, according to a Council on Foreign Relations report.

Mexico has been a leading source of fentanyl along with China. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, which was 50 times stronger than heroin.

READ MORE: Clashing Mexican Drug Cartels Leave 2 Police and 7 Others Dead in Mexico

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Written by: Mary Webber

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