Things That Matter

This Mexican City Has So Many Unclaimed Bodies That It’s Building A Massive Cemetery To Bury The Dead

Although Mexico’s Sinaloa state has claimed that homicides were down 61% over the last 10 years, it’s a different story across much of Mexico. In fact, the country saw its most violent year in history (since the 1918 Mexican Revolution).

In some states, violence is so brutal and widespread that authorities struggle to keep up with investigations or simply can’t identify the deceased’s remains. This has led to a sporadic patchwork of unmarked grave sites across the country. So one state is deciding to construct a mega-cemetery for unidentified, unclaimed bodies.

The border city of Ciudad Juárez will build a massive cemetery for the thousands of unidentified and unclaimed bodies.

The Chihuahua state government announced that they will build a 50,000-square-meter (that’s more than 12 acres) mega-cemetery in Ciudad Juárez for the burial of unidentified and unclaimed bodies.

Ciudad Juárez lays just across the border from El Paso, Texas and is one of the most violent cities in Mexico. In fact, 58% of the entire state of Chihuahua’s murders occur in the city of 1.5 million people. In 2016, the state was estimated to have had more than 17,000 homicide victims.

In the state-operated mega-cemetery, there will be “complete control” both in the burial and exhumation of bodies.

Chihuahua Attorney General César Augusto Peniche said in an interview that the cemetery is needed because unidentified and unclaimed bodies are currently buried in regular cemeteries where the corpses of crime victims are sometimes not managed as they should be.

“We intend to comply with the highest standards,” Peniche said, adding that the International Red Cross participated in the process to design the new cemetery. Adding: “We intend to have a dignified space, to manage remains professionally and [to have] strict control on the entry, location and removal [of bodies].”

The State Forensic Interment Center will be located on the state government-owned San Isidro-Zaragoza reserve in the northern border city and include facilities capable of storing up to 800 bodies prior to burial.

Construction of the cemetery and facilities that will include an ossuary, or bone room, and six refrigerated morgue chambers will cost 50 million pesos (US $2.65 million).

Thousands of murders are never even investigated let alone solved.

According to Insight Crime, a detective in Nuevo León state said that the cases “aren’t filed or closed, but there is also no follow-up police work, just the report with the crime scene information and the victim’s identification … and that’s how they stay.”

It is no surprise, then, that solving a homicide case in Mexico is the exception to the rule. In 27 states, including Nuevo León, nine in 10 crimes go unpunished.

In 27 of Mexico’s 32 states, the rate of cases without convictions tops 90 percent. Among the more successful states, Jalisco edges out with 88.9 percent of its cases unsolved, Mexico City is at 76.5 percent, and Yucatán is at 56.6 percent unsolved.

This means that Mexico has a rate of five convictions for every 100 homicide victims, whereas the Americas as a whole have an average rate of 24 per 100 victims. The conviction rate in Asia is 48, and in Europe 81, according to info from the United Nations.

The cemetery, officials say, is needed to keep up with the ever-growing need for burial space for crime victims.

Between October 2016, the month Governor Javier Corral took office, and October 2019, state authorities buried 818 unidentified bodies and 207 corpses of people whose identities were established but went unclaimed nevertheless.

Of the former number, 468 bodies – or 57% of the total – were killed in Juárez.

Homicides in the border city located across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, increased 61% from 771 in 2017 to 1,245 in 2018 before rising an additional 12.6% last year even before data for December murders was included.

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Viva Mexico Is Trending On Twitter Proving That Mexico Is More Than Just A Country


Viva Mexico Is Trending On Twitter Proving That Mexico Is More Than Just A Country

Carlos Vivas / Getty Images

It is Mexico’s Independence Day and that means that Mexicans around the world are honoring their roots. Twitter is buzzing with people who might not be in Mexico but they will forever have Mexico in their hearts. Here are just a few of the loving messages from people who are Mexican through and through.

Viva Mexico is trending on social media and the tweets are filled with love and passion for the country.

Mexico received its independence from Spain on September 16, 1810 and since then the day has been marked with celebration. The day is marked with parties of pride and culture no matter where you are in the world.

Mexicans everywhere are letting their Mexican flag fly.

Tbh, who doesn’t want to be Mexican to enjoy the day of puro pinche pride? The celebration for Mexican Independence Day starts on Sept. 15 with El Grito. The tradition is that the president of Mexico stands on the balcony on Sept. 15 at 11 p.m. and rings the same church bell that Roman Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla rang in 1810 to trigger the Mexican Revolution.

People are loving all of the celebrations for their homeland.

The original El Grito took place in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato in 1810. While most El Grito celebrations take place at the National Palace, some presidents, especially on their last year, celebrate El Grito in the town where it originated.

Honestly, no one celebrates their independence day like Mexico and we love them for it.

¡Viva Mexico! Mexico lindo y querido. How are you celebrating the Mexican Independence Day this year? Show us what you have planned.

READ: Many Mexicans Are Calling Out Fragile Masculinity As Some Continue To Protest A Controversial Zapata Painting

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Volunteer Firefighters From Mexico Went to Oregon to Help Their “Sister City” Contain the Unprecedented Fires

Things That Matter

Volunteer Firefighters From Mexico Went to Oregon to Help Their “Sister City” Contain the Unprecedented Fires

Just when you thought humanity has failed us, someone steps up and shows the world that the generosity of the human spirit is alive and well. 

Last week, a post on Reddit went viral of a group of volunteer firefighters from Guanajuato, Mexico who traveled to the city of Ashland, Oregon to help fight the wildfires that are blazing across the western state.

The fire department is called Heroico Cuerpo de Bomberos Voluntarios, the Heroic Volunteer Fire Department, in English.

The two towns have had a “sister city” relationship for over 50 years. Sister-city relationships are meant to “promote peace and understanding through exchanges that focus on arts and culture, youth and education, business and trade, and community development”.

The internet swiftly erupted into comments praising the volunteer firefighters for their bravery and comradery. “Mexico also sent relief during Katrina. Mexico and Canada are our best allies, always there for us regardless of the politics,” one commenter said. Another chimed in: “Welcome to Oregon, amigos. Mantenga una bota en el quemado.”

The troop of men who traveled from Mexico to the United States were identified as Captain Aldo Iván Ruiz, Captain Juan Armando Alvarez Villegas, Sargent Jorge Luis Anguiano Jasso, Sargent Luis Alfonso Campos Martínez and Miguel Ángel Hernández Lara. They were accompanied by the mayor of Guanajuato, Alejandro Navarro.

“We began the relief work,” Navarro wrote on Twitter. “Very moved by the terrible impact of the fire on families and their homes.”

The Oregon wildfires are just one of the many that are blazing down the West Coast of the United States, taking people’s homes, land, and sometimes, their lives. In more than 1 million acres have burned and two dozen fires are still raging.

“Almost every year since becoming governor, I’ve witnessed historic fire seasons,” Oregon Governor Kate Brown recently said at a press conference. “Yet this is proving to be an unprecedented and significant fire event for our state.”

Experts are hypothesizing that these unprecedented fires are further evidence of the toll man-made climate change is having on the environment. 

via Getty Images

“I can’t think of any time over the last 100 years where we’ve had serial fire outbreaks, four years running,” said fire historian Stephen Pyne to the Washington Post. “That I can find no record of happening before,” he added. “That is the big switch; that is the phase change.”

Regardless of what has caused the fires, the bravery of these firefighters is worth commendable. Their actions are further proof that borders cannot contain the universal values of kindness, altruism, and brotherhood.

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