17 bodies found in well in Mexico

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Monterrey (Mexico), Jan 31 (IANS/EFE) Authorities in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon have concluded the work of recovering and identifying a total of 17 bodies found in a well, officials said Wednesday.

All of the victims were associated with the band Kombo Kolombia.

The bodies, the last of which were recovered Tuesday afternoon, were found inside the well at an abandoned ranch in the town of Mina thanks to information from a band member who had escaped from the gunmen that abducted the group last week.

The bodies of the victims - 13 musicians, one of them a Colombian citizen; three assistants; and one sound engineer - have already been handed over to their relatives, the state Attorney General's Office said.

The group performed at a private function at the La Carreta bar - in Hidalgo, a town next to Mina - on Thursday night, just hours before a group of roughly 10 gunmen showed up in four SUVs and kidnapped 18 musicians and crew.

Their relatives reported them missing Friday and authorities launched an investigation. A Kombo Kolombia member who managed to escape from the captors subsequently led police to the well where he said the gunshot victims' bodies had been tossed.

Kombo Kolombia was known for its performances of Colombian music and appeared at the popular Internacional, La Eternidad and El Sabino Gordo clubs, all of which have been attacked by drug cartels.

Authorities have not yet identified a motive.

The main criminal outfits operating in Nuevo Leon are the Gulf and Los Zetas cartels, which have been locked in a years-long, brutal turf war across northern Mexico, Nuevo Leon state security spokesman Jorge Domene said Tuesday.

--IANS/EFE

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