Ongoing excavations in north-central Mexico have unearthed the largest mass graves yet in the country’s drug war. As of Tuesday night, 188 bodies had been recovered from mass graves in the state of Durango – surpassing the number of dead exhumed last month in the state of Tamaulipas.
Whether the dead were civilians, kidnapping victims, or members of rival criminal groups is unclear. Mexico has witnessed a spike in cases of missing persons in the past 3 years.
The digging continues in Durango…unlike in San Fernando, Tamaulipas – where state authorities suddenly stopped giving updates on mass graves there, without explanation. State and local authorities in Tamaulipas are widely believed to have strong ties to organized crime and the self-censored press there often remains silent on the issue. At least 183 bodies were recovered from dozens of shallow graves in San Fernando throughout the month of April. It’s the same town where 72 migrants were massacred last August.
While the Durango discovery has become the largest mass graves case in Mexico’s ongoing wave of drug-related violence, it’s unlikely to be the last.