Mexican investigators find 31 bodies in secret graves

AFP Guadalajara, Mexico Nov 22, 2019, 12.48 PM(IST)

The remains were unearthed between Tuesday and Thursday in 17 pits on a hill in the village of Pochahuixco, part of the municipality of Zitlala.(Representative image) Photograph:( Getty )

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Ten of the bodies were identified, nine of which corresponded to people who had been reported missing

Investigators have found 31 bodies hidden in clandestine graves outside Mexico's second-largest city Guadalajara, authorities in violence-torn Jalisco state said Thursday.

The work of uncovering the clandestine graves began earlier this month after authorities secured a 3,400 square foot (320 square meters) plot of land in Tlajomulco, a suburb of Guadalajara.

"At the end of the work on the property 31 bodies were located in the area, corresponding to six women and 25 women," the Jalisco prosecutor's office said in a statement.

Ten of the bodies were identified, nine of which corresponded to people who had been reported missing.

Prosecutors and forensic officers excavated the graves with the help of heavy machinery, dogs and ground-penetrating radar.

Investigators have also identified two other nearby plots where they believe there could be more graves. Forensic experts will begin investigating those areas on Friday.

Jalisco has seen violence linked to organized crime rebound in recent years due to the presence of the Jalisco New Generation, one of Mexico's most brutal drug cartels.

Violence has spiked since March 2017 after an internal split in the cartel, which also competes with criminal groups in the neighbouring Guanajuato state.

In one suburb of Guadalajara, investigators discovered a property with 30 buried bodies in May.

Another grave with 34 bodies was found in the same neighbourhood in September.

Some 3,200 military personnel have been deployed to Jalisco in an attempt to cont