Gunmen killed 19 people on Sundaynight in an attack on a clandestine cockfighting venue in western Mexico, authorities said, in one of the worst mass shootings under the current government.
The killings took place in Las Tinajas in the state of Michoacan, where the powerful Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) has been fighting local gangs for control of drug routes.
Sixteen of the dead were men and three were women, and officials were trying to establish who was responsible for the shootings, which were reported to authorities about 10.30 p.m. local time, Michoacan state prosecutors said in a statement.
All the victims had gunshot wounds, and crime scene investigators were checking reports that several other people were injured and taken to hospital, it added.
Michoacan has long been one of the most lawless areas in Mexico, and last month the United States temporarily suspended shipments of avocados from the state after US inspectors received threats. The suspension was later lifted.
Gang violence was fuelling record levels of homicides by the time President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office in late 2018 pledging to pacify the country, adopting a less confrontational approach to dealing with organized crime.
But widespread violence has persisted, and average annual homicide totals are on track to be the highest under any Mexican administration since modern records began.
Homicides were down nationally during the first two months of 2022 compared to the same period last year, but they were up in Michoacan, according to official government data.
Las Tinajas is in the municipality of Zinapecuaro, about 50 km (30 miles) northeast of the state capital, Morelia.