A total of 19 bodies have been found in clandestine graves in northern Mexico’s Chihuahua state, officials from the state prosecutor’s office said Nov. 26. The first 11 were discovered in what was described as a deserted area of La Colorada ranch, in the community of Ejido Jesús Carranza, 40 kilometers southeast of Ciudad Juárez near the Texas border. The bodies were said to be two years old. The victims were asphyxiated, shot or beaten, their ages ranged from 18 to 40 years old, and they included US citizens. Information leading to the discovery came from the US consulate in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua authorities said. That same day, eight more bodies were unearthed near Rosales, in Chihuahua’s interior. These bodies were just two days old, and bore signs of torture. Some had been burned, beaten and had eyes carved out before being shot in the head. Four more bodies were found along the highway near the mountain outpost of Creel.
The discoveries came on the same day that scores of protesters took part in a rally in Mexico City to call for justice for the victims of drug-related violence. Two days later, Mexican naval troops exhumed nine bodies from a clandestine grave in the Santa Cecilia colonia (neighborhood) of Acapulco, the resort city in southern Guerrero state. According to figures released earlier this year by Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), 16,000 bodies discovered in recent years remain unidentified and a total of 24,000 people are missing. (APRO, Nov. 28; EFE, Las Cruces Sun-News, Nov. 27; Generacion, Observador Global, Nov. 26; The Guardian, BBC News, Nov. 25)