Two men found buried on a communal farm were killed by the same cult of drug smugglers that sacrificed 13 people whose mutiliated bodies were discovered at a nearby ranch, authorities said.
The two bodies found Sunday were buried one atop the other in an orchard on Ejido Santa Librada, two miles south of Rancho Santa Elena, where the other bodies were dug up last week.The 72-year-old father of one of the two victims led police to the bodies. He said some children had told him last fall they had seen people burying a body in the clearing.
Police believe Rancho Santa Elena, about 20 miles west of Matamoros, was where a cult performed sacrifices and other rites to protect their drug smuggling from police and rivals. The 13 bodies found last week had been dismembered, and their hearts, brains and other organs removed for use in bizarre rituals, police said.
The bodies found at the communal farm Sunday had not been dismembered, said Martin Elias Salazar, a federal judicial police group chief who supervised Sunday's exhumations. A sheriff's deputy in Brownsville, Texas, across the Rio Grande from Matamoros, said the deaths apparently were drug related.
Salazar said police had long suspected the two men of selling drugs. That suspicion, plus the proximity of the grave to the ranch, led Salazar to believe they had done business with the cult before it turned to committing human sacrifices.