Mexico gunmen kill 11 members of same family in remote village, including 2 children: Officials

Residents carrying the body of one of the 11 members of a family shot dead at El Mirador, Mexico, on June 10.
Residents carrying the body of one of the 11 members of a family shot dead at El Mirador, Mexico, on June 10.PHOTO: AFP

CAMPOS PUEBLA, MEXICO (AFP) - Gunmen marched into a remote mountain village in Mexico on Friday (June 10) and killed 11 members of the same family, including two children, the authorities said.

Five women, four men and two girls were killed in El Mirador, a community in central Puebla state, near Oaxaca, and the motive of the massacre was under investigation.

"Two other minors were badly wounded and taken to the hospital," said Mr Vicente Lopez de la Vega, the mayor of the town of Coxcatlan, which oversees El Mirador.

The Puebla state prosecutor's office said in a statement that initial reports indicate that "people arrived on foot where the family was located, fired several times and left on foot".

Prosecutors said the two wounded children were also girls.

The statement did not specify where the family was during the attack.

A state government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, said the attack took place inside one home.

But some local media said the bodies were found in several homes.

The prosecutor's office said two people witnessed the massacre and that both have been put under police protection.

The statement said more information would be available after authorities can communicate with investigators, who are working in a remote region.

An official at the prosecutor's office said authorities are trying to establish whether the crime was related to organized crime or a family dispute.

The village is inhabited by Evangelicals who broke away from another community of Catholics, El Potrero. But the mayor said the two villages respected each other.

"It would be adventurous to say that the motive of the murder was religion. We don't know of any persecution. It could be family issues or organized crime," Lopez de la Vega said.

"It's a community in harmony, but things change. There's immigration. Many go north of the country and to the United States. Sometimes when people come back the harmony is lost," he said.

While drug violence is not common in Puebla, some bodies have turned up in recent months.

In March, an undetermined number of human remains were found in various containers filled with acid in a rural area.

In April, four bodies were found inside a burnt car near Veracruz, an eastern state beset by murders and disappearances linked to drug cartels. Two of the bodies belonged to sisters of a jailed Zetas drug cartel member, Veracruz authorities said.

That same day, three other bodies were found in the same area near a facility of state-run oil firm Pemex.

Puebla is also among the states with the most fuel thefts in the country.

Organised crime gangs tap thousands of Pemex pipelines across the country each year.

Late last month, four people died when gunmen linked to fuel thefts opened fire in the village of La Purisima, a region where rival gangs seek to control such illegal pipeline taps.

Puebla has also seen a spate of mob lynchings of crime suspects.