The attacks on Thursday night targeted a couple, their children and other relatives in the remote hamlet of San Jose el Mirador in the Puebla state municipality of Coxcatlan. Coxcatlan Mayor Vicente Lopez de la Vega said the dead include five women, four men and two girls. Two other children were wounded and were being treated at a hospital in Tehuacan, the nearest city.The Puebla state prosecutor’s office said five witnesses survived and were under government protection. They told authorities the attackers arrived at the remote mountain village by foot, opened fire and left. The office said two suspected attackers had been identified, but had fled into the mountains of neighbouring Oaxaca state.
The office said that one of the dead women had been raped and had a child by one of the attackers. “Personal conflicts are the main line of investigation,” the office said. Officials had previously raised the possibility the killings had religious overtones, because residents of the largely evangelical hamlet had previously had disputes with Catholics in a nearby community. But that now appears not to have played a role.
The bodies of the victims were taken to the city of Tehuacan for autopsies. The area has not been particularly hard hit by the drug violence raging in much of Mexico, but drug cultivation and land disputes are not uncommon