WARNING: Graphic content
Confronting photos showing corpses piled up on morgue floors have revealed the brutal reality of life in Tijuana, which has been named as the world's most dangerous city.
The photos were allegedly taken at the Forensic Medical Centre in the Mexican city, which shares a border with the US.
Although they have not been officially verified, it is believed they were recently snapped in Tijuana, which was declared to be the most violent city on the planet in March.
That's according to Mexico's Citizens' Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice, which ranks the 50 cities with the most homicides per capita.
According to the organisation, there were 2519 homicides in Tijuana in 2018 — a staggering 40 per cent increase from the previous year, which already broke murder records.
Tijuana now has an average of 138 murders per 100,000 citizens, well ahead of the Acapulco in Mexico, which took out second place.
That's the equivalent of seven slayings a day on average.
Tijuana's shocking murder rate may have exploded in recent years, but it wasn't too long ago that it was a holiday haven for American college students, who would flock to the exotic city to party during spring break each year.
When the gruesome morgue photos first surfaced, the state co-ordinator of the centre, Cesar Raul Gonzalez Vaca, initially said they were "too blurry to recognise if they are from the Tijuana facility".
But he has since told local media the facility was full as it struggled to cope with the rising murder rate, although he claimed the bodies have now been removed from the floor.
Local media report that 190 corpses have been sent to the centre in recent weeks — but that the facility only has the capacity to handle 150.
Most of Tijuana's violence stems from the human trafficking and drug trades which are run by different criminal gangs.
The infamous rivalry between the Sinaloa and Tijuana cartels have also been blamed for the recent murder spike.
The Tijuana Cartel — also known as the Arellano-Felix Organisation, is known as one of the most violent criminal groups in Mexico, while the notorious Sinaloa Cartel is no less bloodthirsty, having been formerly led by Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, better known as "El Chapo".
These days it is primarily the sale of crystal meth that is driving up the body count, with dealers able to earn serious cash from street corners in down-at-heel neighbourhoods.
But according to KQED News, the drugs are now so lucrative they have sparked brutal turf wars between rival gangs, which is why the death toll is rising so significantly, and so swiftly.
"In just one Tijuana neighbourhood there are 30 or 40 points of sale, and they produce $US30,000 ($AU43,500) or $40,000 ($AU58,000) a day," local police officer Alfredo Rodríguez told reporter Tyche Hendricks in March.
"That's just in one neighbourhood, and there are hundreds all over the city.
"So that's the war we have now, where drug dealers are killing each other over street corners."
Four out of the top five most dangerous cities in the world are in Mexico, with Tijuana and Acapulco taking out the top two positions, followed by the Venezuelan capital Caracas.
Juarez and Irapuato hold the fourth and fifth spots.
Last year, Tijuana again witnessed an avalanche of human misery after members of a caravan of Central Americans — who had spent weeks walking from Mexico to the US border to seek asylum — descended on the city.