Mexican investigators find 166 bodies at mass grave site
Mexican authorities discovered at least 166 bodies at a mass grave site in Veracruz state, prosecutors said, the latest finding in a region hit by bloody drug cartel turf wars. "The remains of at least 166 people have been found" in the latest mass grave site discovered in Veracruz, State Prosecutor Jorge Winckler said, making it one of the largest such sites so far.
The exact location of grave is not disclosed yet
Home to the city of Veracruz, one of Mexico's largest ports, the Veracruz eastern state has a history of corrupt politics and grisly power struggles between rival cartels, a toxic mix that has caused an explosion of violence. The grave is located in central Veracruz, but authorities are not releasing the exact location for security reasons. Forensic specialists are still working at the scene.
Investigators found 200 articles of clothing and 144 IDs
Winckler said investigators had also found 200 articles of clothing, 144 ID cards, and other personal belongings at the site since exhumations began on August 8. "Based on forensic analysis of the discoveries, it had been determined that these are clandestine burial sites which are at least two years old," the state prosecutor's office said in a statement.
The authorities discovered 32 separate grave sites
Authorities said they have used drones and ground-penetrating radar to locate the bodies. There are at least 32 separate grave sites, they said. Activists accuse the state's jailed ex-governor, Javier Duarte, of presiding over a rash of human rights abuses in Veracruz. Duarte is in jail awaiting trial for corruption, and prosecutors recently added charges of his involvement with the criminals.
Javier Duarte accused of human rights violation
Two former State Police Chiefs and a string of ex-officials have been charged with running hit squads that abducted and presumably killed unwanted individuals during Duarte's administration, from 2010 to 2016.
Government received another tip-off about grave site containing 500 bodies
Some 3,600 people have gone missing in Veracruz since 2006, according to the new government. Families of some of Veracruz's legions of missing persons are still digging at another mass grave found in 2016, where 280 bodies have been discovered so far. The government announced they had received a tip-off from drug traffickers about another mass grave containing as many as 500 bodies.
Drug cartel war 2006
Mexico has been hit by a wave of violence since deploying the army to fight the country's powerful drug cartels in 2006. Since then, more than 200,000 people have been murdered, including a record 28,702 last year. Another 37,000 people are reported as missing.