MEXICO CITY (AP) — Human remains discovered last month at a farm outside the city of Guadalajara have been confirmed as belonging to at least 50 people, authorities in Mexico’s west-central state of Jalisco reported.
Jalisco state prosecutors said recovery work at the farm in Tlajomulco de Zuniga, which began on November 22 after the initial discovery, concluded last Friday as experts determined there was no more evidence to be gathered from the scene.
The office said in a Saturday statement that there was a “preliminary” indication that the remains corresponded to 50 individuals. Prosecutors said they had identified 13 people so far — 12 male and one female, all of whom were previously listed as missing.
The state forensic sciences institute will seek to determine the sex of the rest and cause of death. The investigation continues, with the goal of identifying more victims as well as “those responsible for this crime which gravely harms society,” the statement said.
The state is home to Jalisco New Generation, one of Mexico’s bloodiest and most ruthless drug cartels. In July, Jalisco prosecutors announced 21 bodies had been found in excavations in the yard of a house near Guadalajara. In May, authorities discovered the remains of at least 34 people at two separate properties in the state.
Such clandestine burial sites are frequently used by criminals to dispose of bodies.
At least 40,000 people have disappeared since Mexico’s drug war began in 2006.