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Mexican authorities unearth 166 skulls in mass burial pits in Gulf state of Veracruz

September 9, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Mexican authorities unearth 166 skulls in mass burial pits in Gulf state of Veracruz

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On Thursday, Mexican officials announced that they have recovered 166 skulls in clandestine mass burial pits in the state of Veracruz.

Veracruz state prosecutor Jorge Winckler indicated that he could not reveal the location of the clandestine grave for security reasons.

Winckler indicated that the remains were buried at least two years ago. He added that detectives had located 114 ID cards in the field, which was comprised of roughly 32 burial pits.

It is one of the biggest mass graves found so far in Mexico, where drug cartels often use such pits to dispose of their victims’ bodies.

Authorities discovered clothes, possessions and other skeletal remains in the pits, but they targeted the skulls when counting, the number of victims because each corresponds to one person, according to local media reports.

Veracruz was the scene of violent territorial battles between the Zetas and Jalisco New Generation cartels, but the state also experienced surges of abductions and extortions.

Winckler said prosecutors discovered the field after a witness informed them that “hundreds of bodies” were buried there.

Investigators utilized drones, probes, and ground-penetrating radar to find the pits and started the digging process approximately one month ago.

Winckler did not rule out the possibility that the more bodies could be located in the coming future.

It was not the first time that someone with inside information of mass graves disclosed their location.

In 2016 and 2017, Veracruz authorities recovered 253 skulls and remains in burial pits outside the state capital, after family members of missing people said they received a hand-drawn map from someone outlining the location of the graves.

In 2011, police uncovered 236 bodies in burial pits in the capital of northern Durango state.

A total of 193 bodies were found in San Fernando in the state of Tamaulipas. Officials say most of those were Mexican migrants traveling to the United States who were abducted off buses and murdered by the Zetas cartel.

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