- Volunteer searchers in the Mexican border city of Reynosa have discovered 27 bodies from McAllen, Texas, in secret graves, many of them dismembered.
- The search party received an anonymous tip that led them to the burial site, which was located near an irrigation canal.
- The prosecutor’s office in the border state of Tamaulipas confirmed the discovery, highlighting the serious implications of drug and kidnapping gangs using such sites to dispose of the bodies of their victims.
Searchers found 27 bodies in secret graves in the Mexican border city of Reynosa, from McAllen, Texas, and many of them had been dismembered, volunteers said Wednesday.
Some of the bodies were buried so recently that fragments of skin with tattoos remained, and this has allowed relatives to identify four of the bodies, searchers said. But many were hacked into half a dozen pieces.
Edith Gonzalez, leader of the search group “For Love of the Missing,” said the secret burial site was located relatively close to the center of Reynosa. This place is just 4 miles from the border.
Gonzalez said some of the 16 burial pits contained two or three bodies, and that the hidden burial site may have been used by gangs as recently as a month or two ago. Some were covered with only 1 1/2 feet of soil.
The prosecutor’s office in the border state of Tamaulipas confirmed the finding.
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Drug and kidnapping gangs use such sites to dispose of their victims’ bodies.
An anonymous tip led searchers to the burial near an irrigation canal late last week, the search group said.
“People are starting to get over their fear and start reporting body dumping grounds,” Gonzalez said. He acknowledged that some advice could come from people who worked there (for gangs) and are no longer in that line of work.
Such clues have proved a double-edged sword for search groups, which are usually made up of mothers or relatives of Mexico’s more than 110,000 missing persons.
Earlier this month, authorities said a drug cartel bombing used a fake report of a mass grave to lure police into a trap that killed four police officers and two civilians in the southern state of Jalisco. Authorities there temporarily suspended police involvement in searches based on anonymous tips as a precautionary measure.
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The anonymous caller tipped off a volunteer searcher about a secret burial site near a road in Taljomolco, Jalisco. The cartel buried improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, on the road and then detonated them as police convoys passed by. The IEDS were so powerful that they destroyed four vehicles, injured 14 people and left craters on the road.