MEXICO CITY, Mexico (CNN) -- The bound bodies of a Mexican general and two soldiers were found Tuesday near Cancun, news reports said.
Authorities were investigating whether one of the soldiers was a bodyguard for Cancun Mayor Gregorio Sanchez, El Universal newspaper said on its Web site, citing the prosecutor for Quintana Roo state.
"Without a doubt, this was an organized crime execution," said prosecutor Bello Melchor Rodriguez y Carrillo. "You can see they were followed and then intercepted. They tied them and machine-gunned them."
The killings happened around 3 a.m., he said.
One of the victims was Brigade Gen. Enrique Tello Quinones, the prosecutor said on a radio program cited by El Universal. The other two were Lt. Julio Cesar Roman Zuniga, who could be the mayor's bodyguard, and Juan Ramirez Sanchez, whose rank was not given.
The killings come as Mexico grapples with the highest violent-death rates in its history -- around 5,400 slayings in 2008, more than double the 2,477 reported in 2007, according to Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich has characterized the battle among drug cartels and with government authorities as a "civil war."
Violence was in abundant evidence over the weekend in the state of Chihuahua, on the U.S. border, where eight people were killed.
Two men and a woman were shot to death near a supermarket in Ciudad Juarez, El Tiempo said, while another three people died at a horse race in the town of Namiquipa when a group of about 40 hooded men fired on a rival gang. At least two police officers were wounded in the horse-race shootout.
A man between 25 and 30 years old was shot and killed inside his house in Ciudad Juarez by a group of armed intruders, the newspaper said.
And also in Ciudad Juarez, a man was shot to death in his car after a chase on a major street.
More than 200 people have been killed already this year in Ciudad Juarez, considered the most violent city in Mexico, El Tiempo said, citing local authorities.
Last year, according to the National Commission on Human Rights, there were 1,900 organized crime killings in the state of Chihuahua. About 1,600 of those slayings occurred in Ciudad Juarez.