Eight dismembered bodies found in Mexico

ACAPULCO, Mexico - Mexican authorities found the dismembered bodies of eight family members who had been kidnapped, officials said Monday.

The victims ranged in age from 18 to 40. They were abducted Thursday by gunmen in the town of Teloloapan in southern Guerrero state.

The bodies were found Friday in plastic bags dumped along a highway. The remains showed signs of torture and gunshot wounds, a statement from the Guerrero state government said.

Three other members of the same family had also been kidnapped, including an eight-year-old girl. But their whereabouts were unknown, said an investigator in the state attorney general's office who requested anonymity.

"Although the bodies were in pieces they could be identified," this official said.

Guerrero is one of Mexico's poorest states and also a major producer of drugs, especially poppy plants, used to make heroin.

Authorities do not yet have clues as to who might be responsible for the latest atrocity in this country plagued by drug related violence.

In Guerrero self-defence groups started forming in January to confront drug gangs that abduct people, extort money and commit murder.

Teloloapan's mayor, Ignacio Valladares, reported recently that he had received death threats from a drug cartel called the La Familia Michoacana. He said they were demanding he protect their smuggling operations.