Things That Matter

Twenty-Nine Victims Were Found Buried In Mass Grave But Many Wonder If The Government Will Even Attempt To Identify Them

Ever since then president Felipe Calderon Hinojosa decided to wage a frontal war against the Mexican drug cartels in 2006, gruesome scenes have been found throughout Mexico. Other events such as the capture of El Chapo Guzman and the formation of the Los Zetas cartel has also led to the fragmentation of the cartels. 

Whereas in the 1990s and early 2000s the Sinaloa Cartel and the Gulf Cartel has a strict demarcation of their territories, today there are about a dozen cartels that are fighting for control of the main passageway for drugs into the United States, which is by far the largest and most profitable market in the world. This turf war has led to Dantesque violence and suffering. One of the most heartbreaking legacies of the Cartel Wars is the discovery of dozens of clandestine mass graves sprinkled all throughout Mexico. These deaths are the product of multiple local and geopolitical factors, such as the demand for drugs in the United States, the availability of guns North of the Border and corruption in Mexico. 

A new clandestine mass grave has been found in Jalisco, Mexico: 29 bodies were left in plastic bags.

Credit: Vice en Español / YouTube

Gerardo Solis, Attorney General in Jalisco, said that the discovery is located in the affluent municipality of Zapopan. 13 complete and 16 incomplete bodies were found. At least two of the victims are women and as the site is scrapped more bodies could be found. The bodies were dismembered and dumped inside a total of 119 bags. As reported by Vanguard,  the state’s special prosecutor for missing persons cases, Blanca Trujillo, said: “Different body parts are being examined by forensic anthropologists and analysts to determine to what extent the number is going to increase”. 

The gruesome discovery was made in the state of Jalisco, home of the increasingly powerful Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion or CJNG.

Credit: Mazatlán Post / Screenshot

This cartel is famous for its brutal methods and for the total control they hold over their territory. They are so oblivious to the authorities that they parade through rural roads and highways on trucks marked with their logo. This cartel has been ranked by United States Authorities as one of the five most dangerous criminal organizations in the world. 

This is not the first of such gruesome discoveries: on the contrary, mass graves are a constant in contemporary Mexico.

Credit: fosas-clandestinas-mexico-1110×580. Digital image. Sopitas. 

In Jalisco alone, multiple burial sites have been found in recent months. As reported by Mail Online: “In July, prosecutors found 21 bodies in the yard of a house near Guadalajara. In May, the remains of at least 34 people were found at two separate properties in Jalisco. In March, workers were removing mud and debris to clear a storm drain at another spot on the outskirts of Guadalajara, when they began finding plastic bags with the odor of dead bodies. In the end, they pulled a total of 20 bodies out of the storm drain”. Almost 2,000 clandestine mass graves have been found in Mexico over the past eleven years. Some of the bodies belong to Central American migrants who are trying to reach the United States in hope for better life. 

Some people just disappear and families are left to their own devices when it comes to finding their loved one’s remains.

Credit: Screen capture. El Dia Despues. YouTube 

There are over 40,000 people reported missing in Mexico. Authorities are often negligent and missing persons are never found. After families have given up hope of seeing their loved ones alive, they start looking for remains. It takes years to gather clues. Many mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters take matters into their own hands and look for bones, clothes or any sort of evidence in mountains, forests and deserts. This documentary explores the issue. 

The state of Coahuila has been the site of unspeakable atrocities 

Clandestine mass graves have been found in other states, but Coahuila is infamous for sites, such as the municipality of Patrocinio, that have been described as extermination camps. Families have found multiple remains and clothes that indicate that bodies have been burnt to erase traces. The remains of women and children have also been found.

In 2017, Mail Online reported on the discovery of a site that housed the remains of 3,000 victims: “Activists found the skeletal remains on Saturday after an anonymous tip-off that the area was being used as an ‘extermination center’ by gangsters. They say the bodies were likely dissolved in acid, burned, then broken up with shovels in an attempt to dispose of them. The bodies were burned ‘for hours’, the activists said, with diesel, scrap tires and pieces of wood thrown in to help the blaze.Once the fire was out whatever was left was poured on to the floor where it was smashed to pieces with shovels”.

We have no words for the sheer brutality of these acts.  

2019 has been one of the most violent years, if not the most, for Mexico. But most crimes are not reported.

Credit: Giphy. @ViceEnEspanol

According to The Scottish Sun: “This year, the number of deaths attributed to the drug wars between January and June was recorded at 17,000 – a new record”. Let that sink in: 17,000, enough to fill a small arena. Most disappearances and crimes in general, however, are not reported in fear of being targeted by organized crime or corrupt authorities.

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