It has not been confirmed if the bodies are those of a group of 20 men who went missing in September [Reuters]

Authorities searching for 20 Mexican tourists who were kidnapped last month have found at least 18 bodies in a mass grave following a telephone tip-off.

The bodies were found in Tuncingo, a town near the resort city of Acapulco in Guerrero state, on the country's west coast on Wednesday, local media said.

The site is still being searched as the anonymous informant said that more bodies were there.

Police have not confirmed whether the bodies are those of the tourists who went missing on September 30.

Tip-off

The police began to dig up the site after the tip-off and the emergence of a YouTube video in which two men claimed to have killed the men in the grave.

Al Jazeera's Rachel Levin, in the capital Mexico City, said: "We don’t know if these bodies are linked to the men who went missing a month ago ... However, family members will be going to the grave site tomorrow morning to see if they can identify them as their relatives."

Levin said it was impossible to know if the bodies were linked to the drug violence that has engulfed Mexico in recent years.

"Whenever there is a mass killing or violence the Mexican government tends to quickly blame the people involved as related to the drug war," he said.

"There's speculation that these 20 men may have had connections to a cartel called La Familia, which is in the neighbouring state to Acapulco.

"But, according to their families, they were taking an annual trip to Acapulco together; they were all related and made the trip every year.

"And we will not know that until there's an investigation, which is a difficult thing to do right now in Mexico."

Meanwhile, three people have been found shot dead by suspected drugs gangs in Acapulco. The gunmen have not been caught.

More than 29,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence since the government began a military crackdown on criminal gangs in December 2006.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies