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Residents in despair over drug wars

Despite intense security for a national meeting of Mexico's state prosecutors and tough talk from top cops, criminals have dumped more bodies in Veracruz three days after gunmen left 35 corpses on a major avenue during rush hour.

A US navy official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said police found 11 bodies around town, even as the Gulf of Mexico port city ramped up security for the prosecutors meeting by deploying hundreds of soldiers, sailors and police on the streets.

It was unclear who left the most recent group of bodies. Officials believe the New Generation gang was behind the dumping of 35 bodies on a busy street just a half-mile from the convention hall as a grim message to the Zetas drug cartel, which dominates the region.

Authorities had established a security perimeter around the metropolitan area, with soldiers in trucks stopping people in town they considered suspicious. The prosecutors' meeting was on Thursday and Friday.

Residents in Veracruz said this week's horrors had only deepened the fear scaring visitors away from the tourist destination and keeping some residents at home at night.

In August, panicked parents rushed to fetch their children from Veracruz schools after a couple posted Twitter messages warning of non-existent drug cartel attacks on banks and schools.

"Each time, it's worse, and I don't know if it's going to get better," said a 19-year-old student, who like other people interviewed in Veracruz refused to let their names be used for fear of reprisals.

Another man said he felt crime in town had worsened over the past four months.

"Terrifying, terrifying," he said, reacting to Tuesday's find.

"It's among themselves that they're fighting," the man said of drug gangs. "I don't know if they're the Zetas or the Ys or the Xs."

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