The burnt wreckage of a truck lies on a street after assailants killed 15 inhabitants of an Indigenous village in San Mateo del Mar [Reuters]

Mexico City, Mexico – The murders bore all the hallmarks of drug cartel executions. Fifteen victims – all members of the Ikoots Indigenous community – had been beaten, shot, then burned alive in a field just outside Huazantlan del Rio, a village in the municipality of San Mateo del Mar in Oaxaca, southern Mexico, in late June. An as-yet-unknown number of people were also “disappeared”.

At first the local government, headed by Mayor Bernardino Ponce Hinojosa, blamed the killings on a shadowy figure and an unnamed organised-crime group. Officials also acknowledged intra-community grievances and political infighting, caused by dissatisfaction with municipal

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