Researchers in Mexico have discovered more than 1,600 secret graves containing 2,500 bodies accumulated between the years of 2006 and 2017. That could just be the tip of the iceberg, according to the researchers who described the graves as a “building phenomenon.”
“Those are not all the graves … Unfortunately, it’s just a fraction,” Denise González, lead coordinator of the study, said at press conference at Mexico City’s Iberoamericana University.
The study found that Tamaulipas, Guerrero, Veracruz, Sinaloa and Zacatecas were the states with the most reported cases of secret graves, all places with a strong presence of organized crime groups.
University investigators worked alongside local human rights’ groups to conduct the study that they say shows the “deterioration of security” in Mexico. They criticized the country’s Attorney General’s Office and said the government gave inconsistent statistics on secret graves and bodies recovered.
“The Attorney General’s Office is actively violating the rights of information and of memory,” said Carlos Dorantes of the human rights organization Article 19, which participated in the study.
Karla Quintana, the government’s national search commissioner, said the Mexican government is working on building database of missing people and President Obrador will meet with families next week to update them on the effort to locate their missing relatives.
But it doesn’t seem like the Mexican government is very serious about getting to the bottom of the missing people and the dead bodies.
She also highlighted a lack of resources, saying the commission has a “one-person team” in its archives department and is short on personnel to carry out the exhumations.
Search commissioner Quintana said she doesn’t know how many missing people are in Mexico, but her predecessor put the number at 40,000.
(Photo by Jesus Alvarado/picture alliance via Getty Images)