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‘Over 500’ bodies unearthed in mass graves in Coahuila

February 9, 2014

Mexican authorities have reportedly uncovered the remains of at least 500 people buried in mass graves in the northern state of Coahuila in the last ten days.

The bodies were dumped in graves across 11 different municipalities, local newspaper El Siglo de Torreon reported on Saturday.

Most of the corpses are largely intact but some have been burned and others partially dissolved in barrels, presumably filled with acid, according to Juan Jose Yañez Arreola, the head of the Coahuila attorney general’s department dedicated to searching for missing persons. It will take up to four months for forensic experts to determine the total number of victims, Yañez reportedly said.

The bodies were found in the municipalities of Zaragoza, Allende, Acuña, Piedras Negras, Guerrero, Monclova, Morelos, Jimenez, Hidalgo, Villa Union and Nava. Over 250 state and federal agents equipped with dogs, helicopters and specialized radars have been scouring the state in search of bodies since late January.

At least 1,600 people are presently reported missing in Coahuila, according to the state attorney general’s office. If the figure of 500-plus bodies is confirmed, the mass graves would represent by far the largest uncovered during Mexico’s war on drugs, which has claimed around 100,000 victims over the past seven years.

The worst discovery until now was that of 193 bodies in San Fernando, Tamaulipas in 2011. More recently, at least 67 corpses were exhumed in La Barca, Jalisco late last year.

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