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More news from the Land of The Ancient Aztec Death Cult

2017/07/03

Report: “Violence and Terror: Findings on Clandestine Graves in Mexico”

More Than 1000 Clandestine Graves Found in Mexico, Report Confirms and NGO’s Denounce

Translated by Yaqui for Borderland Beat from La Jornada 

Mexico City. Throughout the country there are more than a thousand clandestine graves, in which 2,114 human skulls have been found, according to the report Violence and Terror: Findings on Clandestine Graves in Mexico , carried out jointly by various academic and human rights organizations.

During the presentation of the study, Jorge Ruiz and Mónica Meltis, two of the authors of the paper, explained that the methodology of the analysis consisted of gathering hemerographic notes on the subject and data sent by the prosecutors of several states of the Republic , via transparency requests.

Ruiz said that only 12 state procuratorial offices provided information on the clandestine graves found in their territories (Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, Sinaloa, Coahuila, Durango, Sonora, Oaxaca, San Luis Potosi, Campeche and Quintana Roo), meanwhile the others stated that they had no data on them or were not obliged to provide them.

Another point that draws attention is that prosecutors of some of the entities with the highest levels of violence in the country, such as Guerrero, Jalisco and Chihuahua, are among those who denied having information on the matter.

Likewise, the vast majority of state prosecutors did not give figures on how many bodies were identified, while federal agencies such as the Office of the Attorney General and the Ministry of National Defense provided incomplete numbers.

According to the study, the states with the largest number of clandestine graves are Guerrero (59), Jalisco (53), Chihuahua (47), Coahuila (45), Tamaulipas (40), Nuevo Leon (33) and Michoacán .

Also, the municipalities that concentrated the largest percentage of graves were Durango, Durango (21 percent); San Fernando, Tamaulipas (12 percent); Acapulco, Guerrero (6 percent); La Barca, Jalisco (5 percent); Juárez, Nuevo Leon (5 percent), and Taxco, Guerrero (4 percent).

The country’s decades-long, military-led crackdown on drug cartels has resulted in hundreds of “disappeared” people, with many that are missing or who have been murdered, having no known links to criminal gangs.

Over 250 human skulls were discovered at the Colinas de Santa Fe area, near the Veracruz harbor. Earliest traces of the mass grave were found in August by the Colectivo Solecito, a grassroots organization of relatives of Mexico’s disappeared.

Ortiz, who is in charge of investigating the discovery, believes the skulls belong to victims of drug cartels. He is currently waiting for US $1.8 million dollars promised by the Mexican government to buy sample materials to identify the remains.

In March, Veracruz Attorney General Jorge Winckler Ortiz accused the Mexican Government of knowing about the mass grave of at least 242 bodies that were discovered in his state earlier that month.

“It is impossible for anyone to have realized what happened here, with the vehicles that were coming in and out, if not with the complicity of government authority,” Ortiz said and added: “I do not understand  how else.” HispanTV reports. Despite having to depend on federal authorities who are believed to be “complicit” in the case, Ortiz continues to work independently with families to find answers.

“They give us just the bones but at least I have them. I can keep (them) somewhere … I can put a flower on (them),” Colectivo Solecito member Martha Gonzalez told CNN en Español. “And I can know that they are really there and resting.”

Veracruz, one of Mexico’s most violent states, is home to armed conflict between drug cartels Los Zetas and Jalisco Nueva Generacion. Within the last year, over 120 graves of suspected drug war victims have been discovered, Mexico’s Secretariat of the Interior .

Many believe Mexico’s federal government is involved in both recruiting members for these cartels and hiding the bodies of victims.

One day for example, policemen in Culiacan were filmed arresting eight young men before handing them over to what was believed to be an organized crime group. The incident echoed the circumstances that led to the disappearance of 43 students at the Ayotzinapa teachers’ college, which sparked international outcry more than two years ago.

In 2016, more than 20,000 homicides were reported across Mexico, the highest level registered since Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto took office in 2012.

“Despite this alarming estimate, Mexico has still not realized how serious was the situation of disappearances,” said CNDH state official Ismael Eslava, adding that over 80 percent of the cases were concentrated in 11 out of the 31 states in the country: Guerrero, Nuevo Leon, Veracruz, Zacatecas, Coahuila, Colima, San Luis Potosi, Durango, Jalisco and Sonora.

Most of them are related to confrontations between rival drug cartels, sometimes with the support of authorities, said the report, which based its conclusions on over 500 requests before state and federal courts to find their relatives.

Relatives welcomed the report as an improvement on the usual work of the CNDH, often criticized for reluctantly investigating the cases of disappearances or human rights abuses, especially when they involve local or federal authorities.

The relatives of the victims complained that they have to carry out the search themselves for their loved ones, as the state fails to guarantee justice. However, running such investigations usually exposes them to death threats and other risks.

Between 2007 and September 2016, a total of 855 illegal mass graves were found across Mexico according to the official estimate, while a staggering 30,000 people were reported disappeared, according to a report by the National Commission of Human Rights. 

Extra Material from TeleSurTV

[Byline Fernando Camacho Silva]

22 June 2017

Borderland Beat Reporter Yaqui

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See Also

Mexican folk religion involving human sacrifice gaining status among criminals

Tower of human skulls found by archaeologists in Mexico, throwing Aztec history into doubt

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