215 bodies found in Mexico mass graves from January to May

Police keep watch outside the morgue as refrigerator trucks filled with several unclaimed human bodies are parked at the morgue in Guadalajara, Mexico September 20, 2018. — Reuters pic
Police keep watch outside the morgue as refrigerator trucks filled with several unclaimed human bodies are parked at the morgue in Guadalajara, Mexico September 20, 2018. — Reuters pic

GUADALAJARA, June 21 — At least 215 bodies were found between January and May in nine mass graves near Guadalajara, in Mexico's Jalisco state, authorities said yesterday.

State prosecutor Gerardo Octavio Solis told a virtual press conference that “215 bodies have been found in (mass) graves, of which a large number have already been identified and made available to their families.”

Most of the graves were located on fenced land or abandoned farms in the towns of Zapopan, Tlajomulco, Juanacatlan and El Salto, all in the Guadalajara metropolitan area.

The state prosecutor acknowledged that there are still five graves pending analysis due to the lack of staff.

They warned that once these are assessed the number of bodies will increase.

Organised crime has not stopped in Mexico, despite confinement due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Specialists and human rights defenders attribute the violence that the country suffers to a controversial military crackdown on organised crime launched in late 2006 by then President Felipe Calderon.

According to official data, since then there have been more than 287,000 murders in the country, though it is not clear how many cases are linked to fighting due to organised crime. — AFP

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