250 skulls, and counting, unearthed in Mexico

In this March 8, 2017 photo, members of the Solecito search group carry the coffin of Pedro Huesca, a police detective who disappeared in 2013 and was recently found in a mass grave, as they walk to the cemetery in Palmas de Abajo, Veracruz, Mexico. Huesca's remains are part of a collection of more than 250 skulls found over the last several months in what appears to be a drug cartel mass burial ground on the outskirts of the city of Veracruz, prosecutors said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)

Over 250 skulls and counting have been unearthed in the city of Veracruz, Mexico, which has long been controlled by ruthless drug cartels.

Of 253 total victims found, only two have been identified, including police detective Pedro Huesca and his assistant.

Jorge Winckler, Veracruz’s new top state prosecutor, reports the pits discovered appear to be a mass burial ground for Mexican drug cartel victims and that thousands of more victims may be buried.

In his first official interview, he told Televisa network, “For many years, the drug cartels made people disappear, and the authorities were complacent.”

Winckler recently took office after former Gov. Javier Duarte, who is currently a fugitive and faces charges that include organized crime and looting state coffers, disappeared last year, two months before the end of his term.

Winckler believes the burials occurred while Duarte and his predecessors were in office. He also said resources vital for DNA tests are missing, leaving identification work to be dependent on the federal government and groups like the Red Cross.

“Veracruz is an enormous mass grave,” said Winckler, sharing that reports indicate a staggering 2,400 people are still missing.

For years, the state has been run by dangerous cartels, but some residents believe corrupt police are involved with the disappearances as well, many of whom have been detained for kidnapping citizens and handing them over to drug gangs.

Lucia Diaz, the mother of a missing Veracruzian and a member of a group trying to locate loved ones, said, “It is either the criminals, or police, or both.”

“In Veracruz, it’s kind of hard to tell the difference.”

A huge amount of narcotics make their way to Mexico through nearby countries, triggering wars between rival drug gangs. Drug cartels have been dumping victims of their turf battles into mass graves for years.

In April 2011, over 250 bodies were discovered close to the U.S. border in the city of San Fernando, and more than 300 bodies were found in the northern state of Durango.

H/T: Daily Mail







 

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