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Mexico denies massacre at ranch, as families bury the accused cartel dead in Jalisco

May 26, 2015
The funeral procession for one of the victims featured a chrome-and-black stretch Hummer hearse. Photo by Victor Hugo Ornelas.

The funeral procession for one of the victims featured a chrome-and-black stretch Hummer hearse. Photo by Victor Hugo Ornelas.

“You said you’d come back to me but it’s not true!” the bereaved woman wailed between tears on Monday, as she led the funeral procession of one of the 42 men killed by Mexican federal security forces at a ranch held by a drug cartel.

Clutching a photo of the deceased — a middle-aged man with brown skin and a moustache whom mourners referred to only as “El Blanco” — the woman walked directly behind the hearse, an ostentatious black-and-chrome stretch Hummer, down Avenida Madero to the local cemetery of Ocotlan, Jalisco.

The men killed at the ranch in Michoacan state were largely from Ocotlan, mostly young men in their late teens or early twenties.

Authorities say they belonged to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, or CJNG in Spanish, the violent group that ambushed federal forces in this same town in March, provoking a ferocious, two-hour shootout that left eleven people dead. The vast majority of the dead in Friday’s incident were from Jalisco, and at least 25 were reportedly residents of Ocotlan…

I wrote this feature in collaboration with Victor Hugo Ornelas for VICE News. Click here to read it in full. 

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