MEXICO CITY — Nine men were found murdered in the back of a small cargo truck Saturday in the troubled southern state of Guerrero, Mexican authorities reported.

State prosecutors said in a statement that the men were apparently kidnapped Thursday and reported missing the following night.

The truck was discovered Saturday morning along a highway between the state capital, Chilpancingo, and the city of Tixtla.

Prosecutors said the men lived in Tixtla and Chilpancingo and used the vehicle, which was registered to one of the victims, to sell possibly ill-gotten food products.

Guerrero, which has one of the highest homicide rates of Mexico's 31 states plus the capital district, is home to opium poppy plantations and splintered gangs at war with each other for control of the drug trade and extortion rackets.

In the State of Mexico, a candidate for mayor of the town of Tenango del Aire became the latest of a number of politicians to be murdered in the run-up to nationwide elections July 1.

A government statement identified the man as Adiel Zermann Miguel, 39, and said his body was found on a street in Ixtapaluca, a suburb of Mexico City. Earlier it had given his first name as Addiel.

Horacio Duarte Olivares, head of the Mexico State branch of presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's Morena party, condemned the killing and called for an investigation and a halt to political violence.