- Brothers Juan Salvador Patiño Leon, 27, and Jorge Luis, 31, found decapitated with their heads in sombreros laid on top of their remains
- Denisse Yazaret Morales Juárez, 28, who was dating one of them, also killed
- It is unclear why trio were killed, but Veracruz state is rife with cartel violence
- Bodies were found just days before Mexico celebrated its independence day
- The manner of death - decapitation - is very popular with Mexican gangs
By Hannah Parry and Chris Pleasance for MailOnline
Published: 09:35 EDT, 18 September 2017 | Updated: 03:12 EDT, 19 September 2017
Three Mexicans were killed, mutilated and dumped in the street with their severed heads inside sombreros ahead of the country's independence day celebrations.
The remains of brothers Juan Salvador Patiño Leon, 27, and Jorge Luis, 31, were found on one of the main streets in the city of Xalapa, next to the body of Denisse Yazaret Morales Juárez, 28, the girlfriend of one of the men.
Loved ones had reported the trio missing on September 12, and their bodies were found the following day, just three days before street parties to remember the country's battle for independence from Spain.
Police have not yet confirmed why the trio were killed, but the manner in which their bodies were displayed indicates a gang-related death.
The mutilated bodies of three Mexicans were found on the streets of Xalapa tied up in bin bags with sombreros containing their severed heads on top
Loved ones said the trio went missing on September 12 before their bodies were found the following day, ahead of celebrations for Mexico's independence day
The bodies were found wrapped in bin bags tied with brown parcel tape, with two brooms laid over the top of them.
On top of each of the bodies was a sombrero containing the severed heads of the victims, images from the scene show. The hats were decorated with the colors of the national flag in reference to the upcoming celebrations.
The shocking way their bodies were mutilated and displayed indicates they were most likley murdered by a drugs cartel.
Locals claim the brothers, from Union, Nautla in Veracruz, came from a family with long links to criminal activity.
'Their father Jorge Patino was a kidnapper and murderer and now he's in jail,' one commenter wrote.
'One of their uncles... disappeared for the same thing. Here they continue just like their aunt, dedicated to drugging themselves and threatening people. Other members of their family are in jail in the US.
'In other words, they are all scum.'
Decapitations by gangs in Mexico first began in 2006, when members famously dumped the severed heads of five victims on the dance floor of a nightclub in Uruapan, a town in Michoacan state.
One of the victims was named as Denisse Yazaret Morales Juárez, 28, (left). She is believed to have been dating one of the men who was killed
Brothers Jorge Salvador Patiño Leon, 27, (left) and Jorge Luis, 31, (right) were also named among the dead. It is not clear why they were killed
Mexican criminal expert, Jorge Chaba, at the Center for Research and Teaching of Economics in Mexico City, told McClathcy DC Bureau that gangs were inspired by the YouTube videos posted al Qaida and ISIS.
They adopted the brutal methods as a way to shock and horrify - sending a message to their enemies not to cross them. Since then, gangs have been competing to out-do each other in gruesome manners of death, including dissolving the bodies in acid, but most have returned to decapitation for its shock-factor.
The reason behind inclusion of the sombrero hats is unclear. Perhaps, the hat - which is tied to celebration and festivals - was a way of mocking the deaths of the victims.
It could even be a gang calling card. The Nuestra Familia or Nortenos cartel - a gang associated with North California but with ties to Mexico - has one of its symbols as the sombrero.
Sombrero left with the decapitated bodies could indicate their deaths were at the hands of the Nuestra cartel, whose rivals are the Mexican Mafia, or that they were members who crossed the wrong people.
Jorge Luis Patiño León's Facebook page lists him as a teacher at the Ignacio Manuel Altamirano elementary school, based in the city of Xalapa, according to NotInfoMex.
Police were called to where the bodies were found, which is just a few streets away from the city centre, and are now investigating
He was also previously a trumpeter in la Banda Que Manda (The Band That Rules).
The band made it clear in a statement that Leon had left the group dive years ago, adding that 'none of our current members have been involved in any illicit.'
Leon, his brother and Juarez's bodies were found just a few streets from the municipal palace in the center of the city.
On the same day as the bodies were discovered, another man was killed while walking on a public highway while his companion was injured.
This week another man - Antonio Mota Perez, 56 - was also killed in the city, forcing government officials to speak out about the 'rising violence' in the area.
Americo Zuniga Martinez, the mayor of Xalapa, condemned the violence and called on locals to stay calm during the period of unrest.
Veracruz, the state where Xalapa is located, is known as one of the most violent in Mexico and has been fraught with death and crime since 2010 when the Los Zetas cartel began using the area to assist in their drug smuggling operations.
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