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Mass grave in Jalisco: At least 29 bodies found in plastic bags
Violence in Jalisco has worsened since March 2017 – Photo: Jeffrey Arguedas/EFE

Mass grave in Jalisco: At least 29 bodies found in plastic bags

18/09/2019
13:28
Reuters y AFP
Mexico City
Lizbeth Diaz, Stefanie Eschenbacher & Simon Cameron-Moore/REUTERS & AFP
-A +A
A total of 119 plastic bags with human remains were found in a well in Zapopan, Jalisco. The investigation is still in progress, however, four bodies have already been identified

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On Tuesday, Mexican authorities they had found 29 bodies, packed in 119 plastic bags, dumped in a clandestine grave in the violent western state of Jalisco.

Murders in Mexico jumped to the highest on record in the first half of the year, putting the cartel-ravaged country on track to surpass the 29,111 recorded murders last year.

Jalisco Attorney General Gerardo Solís told a news conference that since making the gruesome discovery in Zapopan municipality the first week of September, investigators had counted 13 complete and 16 incomplete bodies.

The body count could go up as the investigation progressed, according to a source at the state attorney general’s office who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

In Mexico, cartels often kidnap and kill their rivals, many of whom are buried in clandestine graves scattered across the country.
 

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Authorities have not yet said whether the mass grave was related to cartel violence, although Jalisco is home to several cartels, including one of the country’s most notorious.

Jalisco New Generation Cartel, according to U.S. authorities, is one of the five most dangerous criminal organizations in the world.

Until now, the bodies of three men and one woman, who were reported as missing, have been identified by their relatives.

“Three of these four persons had criminal records for robbery and crimes against public health,” explained Blanca Trujillo, a specialized prosecutor in missing persons.

To recover the bodies, authorities have used heavy equipment and trained dogs.
 

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In addition to the complete bodies, there are human remains in process of classification.

“There are different anatomical parts that are being analyzed, both by anthropologists and forensic specialists, to determine to what extent this number will rise,” mentioned Trujillo.

Solís said that works to search for more bodies will continue in the area.

In the current year, 27 clandestine graves have been found in Jalisco.

On May 7, also in Zapopan, a house with 30 buried bodies was discovered.
 

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On March 1, the federal government deployed 1,400 militaries to double surveillance in Jalisco, home of the powerful Jalisco New Generation cartel.

Four months later, 1,800 officers of the National Guard were deployed following the initiative of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to stem the growing crime-related violence.

According to authorities, violence in Jalisco has worsened since March 2017 after problems inside Jalisco New Generation, which is also rival to other criminal groups in Guanajuato over the control of stolen oil trafficking, a crime on the rise in recent years.

According to official information, over 3,000 clandestine graves with almost 5,000 bodies have been found in Mexico since 2006, when the government started a controversial military operation against drug trafficking.
 

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