Nightly News | May 14, 2012
>> there's been an awful discovery on the side of a high way in mexico where gangs have been in a bloody turf war over drug smuggling . this just over the border with this country. dozens of bodies were dumped on the road. mark potter has been covering this war next door for years and has our report tonight.
>> the mutilated bodies were found along a busy highway in monterrey, new mexico . the victims, 43 men and 6 women, had their heads, hands, and feet cut off. and are believed by mexican and u.s. authorities to have been killed by members of los zetas , an extremely violent drug car tell.
>> they want to show they're the meanest, most sadistic, most cruel criminal organization in the americas.
>> sources say the victims may have been victims of a rival cartel. a war over smuggling routes between los zetas and sinaloa has led to violence.
>> the fight between them is for daemination of off loading points, transit points, and cross over points on the border.
>> last week, near quadlaw jara, authorities found 18 beheaded bodies in two vehicles. nine other victims were hanged from a bridge in nuarrow luraro. and in the last six years, an estimated 50,000 people have di died in mexico 's drug war . former mexican foreign minister is now an nbc news analyst.
>> more people are being killed. it's gorier and gorier than ever, and clearly, there's no end to this war. i think the question is for mexicans, was this worth it?
>> the mexican government continues to attack and arrest cartel leaders. the next step in that war is now a major issue in mexico 's president campaign, leading to elections this summer. mark potter , nbc news, miami