16 Mexican Cops Arrested in Mass Murder Cover-Up
Body count from mass graves hits 146
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2011 3:22 AM CDT
Mexico City police guard a refrigerated truck carrying bodies that were found in mass graves in northern Mexico.   (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

(Newser) – The number of bodies pulled from mass graves in Mexico's Tamaulipas state now stands at 146 and the murderers are believed to have had the protection of the police. Federal authorities have arrested 16 police officers from the town on San Fernando, accusing them of helping protect the cartel members suspected of slaughtering bus passengers, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Most of the victims are believed to have been passengers kidnapped from buses traversing highways that lead to the US border. "San Fernando has become the reference point for a region without any law, other than that of organized crime and impunity," one of the country's leading news anchors wrote in a column sharply critical of authorities. "The commission of crimes of incomprehensible magnitude can only happen in the atmosphere of a failed state."