Police in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz discovered one of the largest mass graves ever found in Mexico. Jorge Winckler, the Veracruz state prosecutor, confirmed the finding but would not reveal the location of the mass grave due to security concerns. Large pits are a common way for Mexican drug cartels to dispose of their victims' bodies.
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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Xeni Jardin</span>
Investigators found 114 ID cards in the field where the remains were found and Winckler said the bodies were buried at least two years ago. The site held around 32 burial pits and acted as a mass grave for the well over 100 victims.
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Along with the remains of the victims were clothes and personal possessions, but the way investigators are keeping count of the victims is by counting the number of skulls they find. The Gulf coast state is an area known for violence and bloody turf wars between the competing Zetas and Jalisco drug cartels. Many of the bodies are not believed to be involved with the cartel and were the victims of kidnappings and extortions.
Winckler confirmed authorities were tipped off to the mass grave site after a witness told them "hundreds of bodies" were buried there. Using drones, probes, and ground-penetrating radar, police began the long task of digging up the massive grave site. Those who are missing relatives or are volunteers are not being allowed to this site to maintain its secrecy. Instead, investigators will show photos of items found along with remains to help identify the victims.
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Lucia Diaz, an activist with experience leading police to other burial grounds, said she doesn't trust the decision of secrecy. "We don't trust the work they do, we have a lot of reasons," Diaz said. One reason is that police pulled out remains too quickly and the bodies came out in pieces. "In this case, they took out 166 bodies in one month?" Diaz asked. "It cannot have been done properly. It's impossible, too quickly."
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