VERACRUZ, Mexico – Navy personnel discovered seven bodies in a clandestine grave in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, Mexican authorities said Friday.
The grave was found Thursday on a beach in the municipality of Alvarado, 64 kilometers (40 miles) from Veracruz city, according to police.
The victims – four men and three women – were naked and appeared to have been tortured.
Authorities are still working to identify the bodies.
The initial forensics report indicates the victims were killed within the last 72 hours and the slayings bear the hallmarks of organized crime.
Veracruz has been plagued by a turf war between rival drug cartels that has sent the murder rate skyrocketing over the past few years.
The Gulf, Los Zetas and Jalisco Nueva Generacion cartels, as well as breakaway members of the once-powerful La Familia Michoacana organization, are fueling the violence in the state.
Mexico’s third-most populous state is coveted as a key drug-trafficking corridor to the United States, officials say.