Death field found north of Monterey, Mexico


The number of bodies pulled from mass graves in a rocky field outside the northern city of Monterrey rose to 50 Saturday, authorities said, marking one of the largest dumping grounds ever found for casualties of Mexico's drug war.

Forensic experts used earthmoving machinery to dig up several new graves beyond the nine pits already excavated.

Unnamed military sources told the semi-official Notimex news agency that workers uncovered 12 new bodies early in the day, bringing to 50 the bodies dug up in a landfill in the township of Benito Juarez east of Monterrey .

Some of the bodies appeared to have been incinerated, while others had bullet wounds, the Milenio news network reported on its website. It said the victims appeared to have been killed within the past two weeks.

"The majority (of the victims) are men between 20 and 50 years old, and most of them have tattoos," said Nuevo Leon State Attorney General Alejandro Garza y Garza, adding that forensic experts would conduct genetic tests to identify the victims.

The mass graves are the largest discovery of a drug war killing field since May, when authorities found 55 bodies in a deep shaft in Taxco de Alarcon in Guerrero state.

That shaft in Guerrero state and the new discovery in Nuevo Leon state, which borders Texas , are the largest known killing fields of victims of Mexico's drug war, which has taken nearly 25,000 lives since late 2006.

It is probably too soon to call the area a killing field. It is more likely a dumping ground for bodies killed by the criminal insurgency in Mexico. Dumping the bodies seems to be a relatively new tactic by the insurgents. Before they were leaving them out to be found as a way of intimidating rivals. Perhaps better police work has made that not as productive as in the past.

The Mexican killing remain significant. They are higher than the casualties in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent months. However, there has been little resolution of the disputes over trade routes into the US.


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