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Pedestrian Finds Feet Sticking Out Of A Suitcase (Photo)

A passerby in Mexico called police to report that a pair of feet were sticking out of a suitcase he found.

The mangled body of a man had been stuffed into the zipped-up blue luggage with its feet, wearing black socks, sticking out of the case, Daily Mail reports. 

The carrier item was found lying next to a house in Veracruz state that faces the Mexican Gulf coast. 

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Law enforcement officials from Martinez de la Torre, a nearby town, inspected the cadaver and found that the as-yet unidentified man had been tortured before being dismembered and placed inside the suitcase. 

Mexican police officers and members of the military are in the midst of cracking down on organized crime in the area. 

The residence near where the victim's body had been found is located in a thickly forested area well known to criminals. 

Local gang members reportedly routinely visit concealed forested areas to carry out their nefarious activities, such as executions.

Several kidnapping and extortion cases have taken place in the eastern state of Veracruz. In addition, over a dozen journalists have been murdered in the state over the last five years. 

Scores of murders and unsolved disappearances have also been reported and are linked to Los Zetas, a gang that splintered from the Gulf Cartel in 2010. 

The U.S. government considers Los Zetas to be "the most technologically advanced, sophisticated, efficient, violent, ruthless, and dangerous" drug cartel in the Spanish-speaking country.  

In December 2016, the U.S. Department of State issued a warning advising Americans not to travel to certain parts of Mexico due to heightened criminal activities known to occur in those regions. 

No advisory has been specifically issued for the state of Veracruz. 

According to CNN, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) ranks Mexico as a highly dangerous country for journalists.

From 2011 to February 2016, 11 journalists had been murdered "in direct retaliation for their work," the advocacy organization stated. 

Of these, six of the deaths had taken place in Veracruz. 

In 2015, photojournalist Ruben Espinosa left the state because the journalist-targeting gang cartels there had made it "complicated to do journalism."

He was later found shot to death with four other victims in a Mexico City apartment, officials and press freedom groups affirm. 

"I had to leave [Veracruz] because it was not a direct threat, but I got the message," Espinosa had said in an interview with Spanish TV station RompeViento. 

"It was just recently when students were attacked and brutally beaten with machetes. In these situations, we can't do less with any type of aggression or intimidation because we don't know what might happen. Veracruz is a lawless state." 

Sources: Daily Mail, CNN / Photo credit: St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office/Wikimedia Commons, CEN via Daily Mail

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