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Authorities uncover 33 bodies in mass graves in western Mexico

November 21, 2013

Mexican authorities have unearthed 33 corpses from clandestine graves along the border between the western states of Jalisco and Michoacan since November 9.

The bodies, most of which show gunshot wounds and signs of torture, had been buried beside the Rio Lerma in the municipalities of La Barca, Jalisco and Vista Hermosa, Michoacan. The region has been the scene of a bloody turf war between the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG) and the Knights Templar over the last year.

The latest 12 bodies were unearthed on Thursday, November 21. There were two women among the dead.

The discovery of the mass graves came as the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) was investigating the disappearance of two federal police officers on November 3. This investigation led to the arrest of three civilians and 22 municipal police officers in Vista Hermosa on November 7.

The detained officers, who were allegedly on the payroll of the CJNG, revealed the location of some of the corpses and admitted to having abducted the federal agents and handed them over to the Jalisco cartel. The authorities are still searching for the two federal officers, who are not believed to have been among the bodies uncovered to date.

The first 21 bodies that were exhumed have now been taken to Mexico City, where federal forensic experts are carrying out examinations to determine their identities and the causes of death.

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