12 bodies found in clandestine graves in Mexico

Authorities have unearthed 12 bodies in clandestine graves in Mexico`s violence-plagued southern state of Guerrero, officials said Wednesday.

AFP| Last Updated: Nov 24, 2016, 12:15 PM IST

Guerrero: Authorities have unearthed 12 bodies in clandestine graves in Mexico`s violence-plagued southern state of Guerrero, officials said Wednesday.

The pits were found on a mountain near the village of Pocjahuxco, part of the municipality of Zitla, a region where drug cartels have been fighting over control of criminal operations. Seven bodies were exhumed on Tuesday and another five on Wednesday, said Roberto Alvarez, the state`s public safety spokesman.

State prosecutors are investigating the crime scene, while soldiers and police guard the area, Alvarez said in a brief statement. 
Local media said the bodies were found in six pits.

Drug cartels have been burying their victims in hidden graves across the country for years, and authorities regularly find human remains.

Guerrero is one of the country`s most violent states and a major opium poppy grower, with the Guerreros Unidos and Los Rojos drug gangs engaged in brutal turf wars.

Last weekend at least 24 people were killed in the state. The bodies of nine men, including five that were dismembered, were found on a roadside.

Last week a dozen people were abducted in another part of the state that has been hit by a rash of mass kidnappings for ransom. 

Guerrero is also known for the disappearance of 43 students in the city of Iguala in September 2014, a case that drew international outrage and remains unsolved.

The Pacific resort of Acapulco, once a famous destination for Hollywood stars, is now considered the country`s murder capital as the Beltran Leyva gang and the Independent Cartel of Acapulco battle for supremacy.

The Iguala case put a spotlight on the rash of disappearances in Mexico, where some 28,000 people have been reported missing since 2007.

Frustrated by the lack of progress by the authorities, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters of the disappeared have led their own searches across the country, learning to detect clandestine graves on their own.