After Moms Raise Funds for Excavation, a Horrific Find in Mexico

Hundreds of skulls found in Veracruz mass grave
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2017 3:42 AM CDT
Members of the Colectivo Solecito search group carry the coffin of Pedro Huesca, a Veracruz police detective who disappeared in 2013 and was recently found in a mass grave.   (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)
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(Newser) – A horrific find in Mexico: Authorities say they've found more than 250 skulls in a clandestine burial ground on the outskirts of the city of Veracruz—and they have yet to excavate two-thirds of the area. State attorney general Jorge Winckler Ortiz said the bodies are drug cartel victims murdered while authorities in previous administrations turned a blind eye. He described Veracruz state, a cartel battleground for years, as a giant mass grave. "When they finish opening the clandestine cemetery in the state it will be seen as the largest grave," he told the Televisa network, per NPR, "because for years organized crime has disappeared and murdered people with the complicity of the authorities."

The graves were found with the help of Colectivo Solecito, an activist group formed by the mothers of some of the state's estimated 2,400 missing people, the New York Times reports. Lucia Diaz, a spokeswoman for the group, says that after a cartel member handed them a map to the graves during a Mother's Day protest last year, they raised money for excavations by holding bake sales and raffles. Her own son, who disappeared in 2013, is still missing. She tells the AP it isn't clear who dumped the bodies in the clandestine graves. "It is either the criminals, or police, or both," she says. "In Veracruz, it's kind of hard to tell the difference." (These Mexican vigilantes kidnapped a drug kingpin's mom.)

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