Earlier in September, residents living just outside Guadalajara began to complain of a horrid smell. Forensic scientists were brought in to discover the source and made a horrifying discovery.
Buried in a well were 119 black bags containing human remains. So far, scientists have pieced together body parts of 44 different bodies, all cut up. As the BBC reported, there are still many body parts that have not been identified.
“A local organisation which searches for missing people has appealed to the government to send more specialists to assist with identification,” the outlet reported. “They say the local forensic department is overwhelmed and does not have the necessary skills to complete the operation.”
The outlet also reported that the Mexican state of Jalisco “is the heartland of one of Mexico’s most violent drug gangs and this is the second major find of bodies in the state this year.”
Fox News reported that in May, at least 34 bodies were discovered at two different locations in the state. From Fox:
Prosecutors revealed Saturday that most of the remains were found buried at a ranch in Zapopan, a city in central Mexico next to Guadalajara.
Among the dead, 27 had been tied up and two had been identified, the attorney general of Jalisco, Gerardo Octavio Solis, reportedly said at a news conference. Solis added that the number could still rise as the investigation continued.
Solis said the skulls of seven other people and other human remains were discovered on the property of a house located in Guadalajara, Mexico’s second most densely populated city. Solis added that another body was recovered from the Tlajomulco municipality, in Jalisco in central-western Mexico.
The outlet reported that investigators were unsure how long the bodies had been buried.
Tens of thousands of people have disappeared as Mexico has attempted to crack down on drug cartels in the past 13 years. As Fox reported, families who “with missing relatives reportedly rushed to officials in Jalisco asking for details on the bodies found.”
Last December, the BBC published an article on a group of more than two dozen women who have come together to search for the some 40,000 missing people. From the BBC:
Most of the missing are thought to be dead. The women who form part of The Searchers are well aware of the statistics and in many cases what they are searching for is certainty.
Miriam Reyes, wearing a hat to shield her from the relentless sun of Sinaloa, is searching for her ex-husband who has been missing since 2015.
“My son needs a father, or at least his body to bury him,” she says.
The women, known as The Searchers, us shovels and pickaxes to dig in areas thought to be mass graves, using tips from locals who discover human remains on their property. The women search despite extreme heat, searching for their missing loved ones and the loved one’s of people they don’t even know.
“People who are thought to have money are kidnapped for ransom. Young men are sometimes forcibly recruited to join criminal gangs. Or they are killed for belonging to a rival gang. Young women are abducted to be trafficked,” the BBC reported. “In most cases, the family will never find out what happened to those who disappeared.”