59 bodies in Salvatierra Guanajuato mass graves, searchers dig for more

Soldiers stand guard near the site where mass graves were found in Salvatierra, Guanajuato state, Mexico, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. A Mexican search group said Wednesday it has found 59 bodies in a series of clandestine burial pits in the north-central state of Guanajuato, and that more could still be excavated. (AP Photo/Mario Armas)

SALVATIERRA, GUANAJUATO, Mexico (AP) — Search teams dug for more remains on Thursday, October 29th at a site in the Central Mexico state of Guanajuato, where 59 bodies have already been found in clandestine graves over the past week in an area known as a cartel battleground.

It was the largest such burial site found to date in Guanajuato, the state with the largest number of homicides in Mexico, though bigger clandestine burial sites have been excavated in other parts of the country.

Especially striking about this discovery, but also a testament to the prevailing level of fear, is that the site is in the town of Salvatierra, not a desolate area out in the countryside.

The head of the official National Search Commission, Karla Quintana, said in an interview with W Radio that people had to have known that bodies were being disposed of there.

“This place is in a neighborhood,” Quintana said. “To get there you have to pass homes, you have to pass streets … the people know.”

The sites is a vacant lot just under a half-mile (kilometer) from the city’s main plaza. It is located next to the Lerma River, on the other side of which is a park. Nearby stands a slaughterhouse.

Quintana said the tip came about two weeks ago from relatives looking for missing loved ones. She said searchers have found indications that more bodies may be buried there, so the search continues. The goal is to recover the bodies, identify them and return the remains to their families, she said.

Quintana said many victims seemed young and there were a significant number of women. Quintana announced the find late Wednesday, calling it “a sad and terrible discovery.”

The bodies were extracted over the last week from 52 pits at a property in Salvatierra. The scene was considered dangerous enough that the army and National Guard provided security for the excavations. The area is near the border with Michoacan state and there is known to be a significant organized crime presence.

On Thursday, the site of the burial pits was cordoned off by police.

Source: Yahoo News



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