Millennium Post

Mexican investigators find 31 bodies in secret graves

Guadalajara: Investigators have found 31 bodies hidden in clandestine graves outside Mexico's second-largest city Guadalajara, authorities in violence-torn Jalisco state said Thursday.

The work of uncovering the clandestine graves began earlier this month after authorities secured a 3,400 square foot (320 square meter) plot of land in Tlajomulco, a suburb of Guadalajara.

"At the end of the work on the property... 31 bodies were located in the area, corresponding to six women and 25 women," the Jalisco prosecutor's office said in a statement.

Ten of the bodies were identified, nine of which corresponded to people who had been reported missing.

Prosecutors and forensic officers excavated the graves with the help of heavy machinery, dogs and ground penetrating radar.

Investigators have also identified two other nearby plots where they believe there could be more graves. Forensic experts will begin investigating those areas on Friday.

Jalisco has seen violence linked to organized crime rebound in recent years due to the presence of the Jalisco New Generation, one of Mexico's most brutal drug cartels.

Violence has spiked since March 2017 after an internal split in the cartel, which also competes with criminal groups in the neighboring Guanajuato state.

In one suburb of Guadalajara, investigators discovered a property with 30 buried bodies in May.

Another grave with 34 bodies was found in the same neighborhood in September.

Some 3,200 military personnel have been deployed to Jalisco in an attempt to contain violence linked to organized crime.

Mexican authorities have recorded nearly 50,000 cases of missing persons, the vast majority since 2006, when the government deployed the army to fight drug trafficking.

More than 3,000 clandestine graves with more than 5,000 bodies have been discovered since 2006, according to official data. Many of the dead have not been identified.

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