Problem of Clandestine Mexican Graves More Serious Than Authorities Report

LA JORNADA — Data on clandestine graves in the country are highly variable, which prevents having a accurate measure of the magnitude of this problem. While the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) reports that, from 2007 to 2014, 161 graves containing 581 bodies have been found, the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) said that there are 246, but does not give the number of bodies found in them.

Yesterday at the Institute for Legal Research (IIJ) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, a roundtable discussion, ‘Clandestine Graves’ was held, organized by that institution and the National Citizens’ Observatory on Security, Justice and Legality, where researchers, human rights specialists and public servants emphasized that the relatives of those who are found in these excavations don’t have access to justice.

Lucia Chavez, of the Mexican Committee for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights, presented some figures. When it comes to information by state, the number reaches 929 graves, even though 14 states did not provide data. Of the 161 illegal burial sites reported by the PGR, Guerrero ranks first in number of graves and bodies found, 66 graves with 179 bodies; followed by Jalisco, with 37 graves and 75 bodies, and Morelos, with 11 graves and 125 bodies.

However, data from the Department of Defense shows a different situation. Of the 246 graves accounted for by the military, 99 were found in Tamaulipas, 30 in Guerrero, 24 in Veracruz, 15 in Nuevo Leon and 13 in Durango.

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