Mexican authorities dig unmarked grave for more than 100 bodies

Mexican officials are continuing to exhume the remains of more than 100 unidentified people buried by authorities in a common grave in the central state of Morelos, state prosecutors said. The exhumations began after noon on Monday in the Las Cruces site in Cuautla township. Blue-smocked investigators worked under a yellow tent as families of missing persons and representatives of the National Human Rights Commission looked on. Genetic samples will be taken from each set of remains to attempt identification and then they will be reburied in marked graves.

It is extremely important and the highest responsibility to count the bodies, give them a dignified burial, take samples, which is the most important, to see if a relative here or in another state or beyond these borders is looking for a relative and who could be here

State prosecutor Javier Perez Duron

Shoddy practices at the gravesite for unidentified dead came to light last year after a judge ordered the state prosecutor’s office to exhume a body and turn it over to family members. They found they had to dig around dozens of plastic-wrapped bodies without any documentation connecting them to case files. The United Nations along with several human rights organizations estimate that at least 20,000 people have gone missing in Mexico after years of gang wars linked to the lucrative drugs trade.