A mum-of-four was among those killed in a massacre at an illegal cockfight this weekend, and now one of Mexico's most powerful drug cartels has issued a chilling statement regarding the tragedy.
20 people were shot dead in Las Tinajas in the Mexican state of Michoacan on Sunday when a team of gunmen wearing military uniforms opened fire on a crowd with assault rifles.
Four other people were taken to hospital with gunshot wounds, while investigators reportedly found more than a hundred spent 7.62-calibre shell casings at the scene.
Melissa Silva, 36, from Chicago in the United States was one of three women among the victims, leaving behind four children aged 10, 12, 17 and 18.
She had been on holiday with her sister in their mum's home state, having apparently defied a U.S. Department of State travel advisory to avoid the area due to high rates of crime and kidnapping.
Melissa's 16-year-old sister Arleth Silva was also injured in the attack, and sibling Yalitza Silva told television channel Univision that she had taken a gunshot wound to one of her lungs.
She revealed: "They told my mom that she was going to need eight screws in the spine."
Reacting to the sad loss of her sister, she said: "I did not imagine that it was going to be one of my sisters.
"Melissa couldn't, I mean, she was too strong."
The Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) has now put out a video address condemning the tragedy and threatening rival gang Familia Michoacana.
In the clip, translated by Borderland Beat, a spokesperson surrounded by gunmen in military uniform says: "We hold Lalo Manteca, Daniel Correa's gang of scumbags directly responsible. And the f****t turncoat El Lobo who bit the hand that fed him, supported by the Familia Michoacana.
"The complete gang of dumb assess are already located. That's all you guys are, a bunch of cheap dumb asses. The townspeople won't allow us to lie on this matter. Gentlemen, showing up to shoot at innocent civilians isn’t a manly thing to do.
"Come on out to that armed confrontation if you sons of f****g b*****s are so damn brave.
"You dog, let’s see how much balls you've got. As far as things go we've got them here for you."
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