More than 2,000 human bones belonging to adults and children were found in northwestern Mexico last week.
Members of the State Brigade for the Search of Disappeared Persons were searching the landfill near a private residential complex in Culiacán, Sinaloa, on August 24 when they came across bags of bones and body fragments on the ground, some from hands and some from feet.
The foot and hand fragments belonged to more than 150 people – according to forensic experts, coming from both adults and children.
One of the experts at the scene said: ‘I can’t believe they are human, there are too many.’
According to Mexican news outlet El Universal, a colleague added:
They look like the bones used to make pozole. If they’re human, this is terrible; where are we supposed to be?
El Universal reported that several damaged bags – due to sun, water and animals ripping and rummaging through them – were placed in an area not accessible by car.
Over the last two decades, 57,861 people have disappeared in Mexico – family members of the missing formed the brigade in 2016 to be more organised in their search.
Just last weekend (August 31/September 1), three people, including two women, were found dead by the group – it appeared they were shot in the head.
Another search party discovered two bodies in a pit on a beach in the Pacific resort town of Mazatlán.
The complex where the bones were found, La Primavera, is a luxury ‘minicity’ – many businessmen and politicians live there, and houses can cost upwards of $10 million.
According to El Universal, bodies have been found outside the complex for years. On the path that leads to the dumpsite, you can see several crosses in memory of the found corpses.
One of the crosses had a jacket over it – something the brigade says is common practice in the area.
One member of the group told El Universal: ‘They are used to doing it. It gives identity to their dead.’
In May this year, Jordi Raich, head of the regional delegation for Mexico and Central America for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said:
Under international law, States are required to do everything in their power to prevent people going missing, search for those who are missing and mitigate the consequences of this issue.
When people go missing it is a problem not just for their families, but for each and every one of us. This is a serious issue that forces us to examine ourselves as humans and as a society.
Only coordinated, professional and empathetic teamwork by all concerned will deliver the response that we want for and owe to the families of the missing.
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After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.