Testimony Leads Mexican Authorities to Hidden Mass Grave

Miguel Moreno
By Miguel Moreno
April 21, 2019Worldshare
Testimony Leads Mexican Authorities to Hidden Mass Grave
Detail of a cap found in a mass grave, where authorities discovered at least 166 bodies since exhumations began on August 8, at Alvarado municipality in the Mexican southeastern state of Veracruz on Sept. 07, 2018. (Victoria Razo/Getty Images)

Mexican officials have found a hidden burial site in Veracruz with 36 graves, each containing one or more bodies, the state attorney announced on April 17. The burial site is believed to be the work of a criminal organization.

Less than a week before the announcement, another burial site with 30 graves was found in Sonoro, Mexico. As the homicide rate in Mexico increases, findings of clandestine burial sites have become commonplace. None of the bodies have been identified in the Veracruz burial site.

Agents investigate burial sites.
Agents investigate burial sites in Veracruz, announced on April 17, 2019. (FGE Veracruz)

“The investigation began with a disappearance report in 2014,” said Veracruz State Attorney General Jorge Winckler at a press conference. “Recently, new information obtained by one of the witnesses in the investigation led to the possibility of the existence of this burial site.”

Winckler said that the burial site is both very difficult to access and dangerous. The human remains that were found were buried less than half a meter in the soil; however, it is currently unknown how long the bodies have been buried for.

“We have found a large number of graves [in the country] since Dec. 1, with a varying number of bodies found in each grave. The number of graves doesn’t always correspond to the number of bodies, or the remains of incomplete bodies,” said Karla Quintana, commissioner of the National Organization of Searches for Missing People in Mexico.

Karla Quintana
Karla Quintana, Commissioner of the National Organization of Searches for Missing People in Mexico, speaks in Veracruz, on April 2019. (FGE Veracruz)

The investigation is still in progress.

‘Female Warrior Searchers’ Find Human Remains

Up to 30 bodies were found over the weekend before the Venezuela burial site was found. According to Mexican officials, forensics experts, accompanied by volunteer search groups discovered an estimated 27 sets of human remains in one burial site.

And on April 13, a search group found three more sets in Cajeme, a city in northern Sonora. The group responsible for finding the bodies, comprised of mostly women in search of missing relatives, is called “Guerreras Buscadoras,” or “Female Warrior Searchers.”

Guerreras Buscadoras de Sonora ENCUENTRAN OTROS 23 CUERPOS HOY SÁBADO EN EL #Campo30, EN EL VALLE DEL YAQUIMaría…

Posted by Libera Radio on Saturday, April 13, 2019

The group carries out its own searches for missing people when the government doesn’t take action. Mexican media “El Imparcial,” reported that the group has found 57 bodies in less than three years.

“The Warrior Searchers are not alone in their hope of finding their loved ones,” said the prosecutor’s office. “The Sonora prosecutors’ office is accompanying them.”

The Associated Press Contributed to this Article.

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