MEXICO CITY – The remains of over 600 corpses have been unearthed in a field in the San Pedro municipality of northern Mexico’s Coahuila state, according to Grupo VIDA, a civil society group comprising the relatives of disappeared persons.
Bones, teeth, pieces of clothing and shoes were discovered in a 16-hectare field in San Pedro, west of the state capital of Saltillo.
Grupo VIDA president Silvia Ortiz said the remains have been handed over to authorities be identified, as cited by local media.
The ranches of San Pedro were the preferred mass killing sites for criminal groups active in the area years ago, when Torreon municipality was listed as one of the most violent cities in the world.
According to official data, almost 2,000 people from the area have been missing since that time, mostly as a result of violence between drug cartels.
Members of the office for the Attorney-General of Mexico and its forensics branch were involved in gathering the remains, alongside the National Human Rights Commission.
Hours before the remains were discovered, the assistant Attorney General’s office for Special Investigations said that since April last year, over 3,500 body parts were found in the ranch land.
The process of identification has been complicated owing to the deterioration of the bodies, some of which were set on fire in metal drums up to eight years ago as perpetrators attempted to erase the traces of their violent acts.