Hundreds flee drug violence in southern Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Drug cartel violence has forced hundreds of people to flee their villages in the mountains near Mexico’s southern Pacific coast.

The government of the Pacific coast state of Guerrero says it provided shelter, food and increased protection for the refugees in the town of San Miguel Totolapan.

Guerrero state government spokesman Jose Villanueva says about 500 inhabitants of villages in the township fled their homes in recent weeks.

The area is near the border with neighboring Michoacan state, where two rival cartels are fighting for control.

In Michoacan, the bodies of four men were found hanging from a bridge in the town of Buenavista, where residents rose up in arms against the Knights Templar cartel in February.

Villanueva said Friday that criminals from Michoacan had begun entering Guerrero, spreading violence.

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