MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Five young Mexicans killed last month by gang members with ties to local police were murdered after being mistaken for a rival cartel, a top security official said Tuesday, another possible case of corrupt law enforcement in league with organized crime.
The individuals were killed in a particularly violent zone of Veracruz state known as Tierra Blanca, their remains dumped into a local river, deputy interior minister Roberto Campa said in an interview with broadcaster Televisa.
"(The five young people) were burnt and then afterwards their remains were pulverized, certainly at a sugar mill, and they were then dumped into a small river," said Campa.
He said the confession from a state police officer provided confirmation of the killings.
A total of eight police officers have been arrested in the case, but investigators are still searching for six suspects believed to be members of the New Generation Jalisco cartel.
Veracruz is home to various turf battles among rival cartels, including the hyper-violent Zetas.
More than 100,000 people have been killed in Mexico's drug war over the last decade as rival gangs fight over territory and smuggling routes to the United States.
Reporting by Liz Diaz; Editing by Michael Perry