At least 27 people were killed on a ranch plagued by drug cartels in a Guatemalan village near the border with Mexico, police said on Sunday.

The massacre took place early Sunday in the town of Caserio La Bomba in Peten province near the Mexico border, National Civil Police spokesman Donald Gonzalez said. Among the 29 dead were two children and two women.

This is the worst massacre we have seen in modern times, police spokesman Donald Gonzalez told Reuters, adding that it was hard to remember a mass killing on this scale since Guatemala's 36-year civil war ended in 1996.

National Civil Police investigators say 200 heavily armed men belonging to Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas attacked the group of farmers on Saturday night at the Los Cocos farm in Peten Department, EFE reported.

PNC officials say the shooting and decapitation were consistent with previous killings attributed to Los Zetas.

Members of the Guatemalan military were sent to the Mexican border, about 100 kilometers from the spot of the killing, to prevent those responsible from fleeing, Col. Rony Urizar, a spokesman for the Guatemalan military said.

He said air and land patrols are taking place to prevent those responsible from crossing the border.