Vultures Help Uncover Mass Grave in Mexico

31 bodies, some decapitated, found in Veracruz

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 19, 2014 8:24 AM CDT

(Newser) – Some 31 bodies have been found in a mass grave in Veracruz, Mexico, thanks in part to some hungry vultures. A local newspaper notes, per the AP, the grave was uncovered Monday on a ranch outside Tres Valles after marines spotted vultures on a dirt road. The BBC reports an anonymous call came from a farm and quotes a military official who says the bodies of 24 men and seven women were found. Officials, who initially noted 28 victims, warned the number could rise as investigators are still excavating the grave in an area known for drug cartel violence and attacks on migrants.

Though the victims' identities and cause of deaths haven't been released, the AFP points to gruesome killings. Eleven bodies were decapitated and several were missing hands, feet, ears, and fingers, a state police official said. Those with missing friends or family members have begun arriving at a local morgue to see if their loved ones are among the victims. Some bodies, exhumed over the past two days, had been in the ground more than a month. Veracruz has seen years of fighting between the Zetas drug cartel and its rivals and the AP notes that the bodies of 72 migrants killed by Zetas were discovered in a mass grave in 2010.

People hold portraits of their missing loved ones in front of the morgue of Cosamaloapan, after a mass grave was recently discovered, in Veracruz , Mexico, Wednesday, June 18, 2014.
People hold portraits of their missing loved ones in front of the morgue of Cosamaloapan, after a mass grave was recently discovered, in Veracruz , Mexico, Wednesday, June 18, 2014.   (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)
Francisca Garcia holds a portrait of her missing daughter Wendy Cruz Garcia, in front of the morgue of Cosamaloapan, Veracruz, Mexico.
Francisca Garcia holds a portrait of her missing daughter Wendy Cruz Garcia, in front of the morgue of Cosamaloapan, Veracruz, Mexico.   (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)
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