11 people die in shootings in small town in southern Mexico state of Chiapas, prosecutors say

MERIDA, Mexico — (AP) — Eleven people were killed Tuesday in mass shootings in a small town in the southern Mexico state of Chiapas, the state prosecutor's office said.

The office said the shooting occurred in the township of Chicomuselo, an area known as a trafficking route for migrant and drug smuggling that has been hit by cartel turf battles in recent months.

The township — and the outlying hamlet of Morelia, where the killings occurred — is in a sparsely populated area near Mexico’s border with Guatemala.

There have been confrontations between drug cartels in the area as recently as Monday, but at least some of the victims of Tuesday’s shootings appeared to be simply residents of the town.

The border area of Chiapas has been plagued by violence as the rival Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation cartels battle for territory. Thousands of people have been displaced as the cartels work to control migrant, drug and weapons smuggling routes and forcibly recruit locals.