The number of bodies located in clandestine graves in the municipality of Salvatierra, in the state of Guanajuato, central Mexico, increased to 66 while fissures appeared this Wednesday between the National Commission for the Search of Persons (CNB) and the Attorney General’s Office of the State.
“Unfortunately nowhere were we prepared for the dimension of what we are experiencing throughout the country,” the head of the CNB, Karla Quintana, acknowledged today in an interview with the media.
It was on October 28 when the CNB, in conjunction with its counterpart in Guanajuato, reported the location of 59 bodies in an area of approximately 6,000 square meters, located just three kilometers from the Salvatierra Mayor’s Office, and a week later the authorities added seven more bodies.
Given the number of bodies and the complex scenario, Quintana indicated that an anthropologist and an archaeologist joined the search efforts to avoid “methodological failures”, such as the incorrect numbering of the graves.
He stressed that these specialists belong to the CNB, since the local Prosecutor’s Office, although it does have this type of professionals, has not sent them to work in Salvatierra.
FAMILY MEMBERS ARE APPROACHING
With the discovery of the first 59 bodies, approximately 250 people went to a module set up by the State Attorney General’s Office to take a DNA sample and thus be able to verify if any of the corpses corresponds to the relatives they are looking for.
“Unfortunately the samples were finished, there were only 100 samples, and what the Prosecutor’s Office offered is to transfer some people to the closest prosecutor’s offices. The unofficial information that we have is that some families have approached the other prosecutor’s offices,” Quintana said.
However, the graves in Salvatierra are not the only case of this type in Guanajuato.
At the end of September, in the municipality of Irapuato, 17 plastic bags with human remains were found, although it is still unknown how many people they correspond to.
In addition to this, on October 30 bodies were also discovered in the municipality of Cortazar, although the Prosecutor’s Office still does not officially report how many. Not even the National Search Commission has received information on this case.
Quintana pointed out that, presumably, it is due to the fact that three people were detained in the property where the bodies were found, and therefore, ministerial proceedings are still being carried out in the area.
WILL FOLLOW THE SEARCH
The head of the Commission indicated that the search tasks will continue in Salvatierra, and in due course also in Cortazar, although she clarified that for security reasons, they try not to reveal the exact points.
According to the Report on the situation of clandestine graves in Guanajuato, carried out among groups of relatives of disappeared persons, the Data Cívica organization and the Universidad Iberoamericana, from January 2009 to July 2020, 109 clandestine graves were identified, of which of which 268 human bodies have been exhumed.
The municipalities of Pénjamo (11), Irapuato (11), Celaya (8), Villagrán (7) and Acámbaro (7) concentrate close to 40% of the total graves, a phenomenon that is linked to the presence of organized crime, according to noted the researcher Fabrizio Lorusso during the presentation of the report.
And it is precisely the dispute between two criminal organizations, mainly, that has made Guanajuato the most violent entity in Mexico since 2018.
On one side is the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel, born in the municipality of Villagrán, and opposite is the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel, led by Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, El Mencho, whose presence is gradually growing throughout the Mexican territory.
Local authorities estimate that nine out of 10 intentional homicides in Guanajuato are linked to the war between organized crime cells.
This year, with a cutoff to September, 3,438 people have been murdered in the state of Guanajuato, according to official figures from the federal government, which represents 13% of the total number of victims reported nationwide, some 26,231.