Authorities in a town in Mexico's Guerrero state have made a grisly discovery, finding 10 severed human heads near an open-air market.
"They were the severed heads of 10 people, three women and seven men," police spokesman Arturo Martinez Nunez said on Sunday.
A prosecutor's office official in Teloloapan, the town where the remains were found, said they had been located beside the open-air market.
Messages against the La Familia drug cartel were found with the heads, authorities said. La Familia is a criminal group active in the nearby state of Michoacan, and has frequent turf battles with other crime gangs.
Pope Benedict XVI arrives March 23 in Leon, Michoacan, and is expected to address devastating drug-related violence in Mexico.
President Felipe Calderon has launched a military crackdown against the cartels battling it out for control of the lucrative drug trade, in which some 50,000 Mexicans have lost their lives since 2006.