The collective Amor por los Desaparecidos, located in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, in the northeast of the country, has found a common grave with at least 27 bodies south of the city of Reynosa.
Some of the remains still have their clothes, so it is estimated that they have been buried for three or four months. However, it is also found skeletal remains, so the collective calculates that the area has been used as clandestine cemetery for three or four years.
The organization, made up of mothers of the disappeared in Tamaulipas, found the property after receiving an anonymous notice alerting them to the location of the grave. Apparently, the call came from a former member of organized crime who confirmed the existence of the human remains. Three bodies were found on Friday (the day the call was received denouncing the area), five on Saturday, 14 on Sunday and five more on Monday. Until today 27 bodies have been found and the search is still on.
These “seeking mothers,” as they are known in Mexico, are women who They mobilize autonomously in the hope of finding their missing children or relatives. Due to the lack of public resources and support from the authorities, it is often unofficial groups, such as Amor por los Desaparecidos, who find graves with the bodies of victims of organized crime in different parts of the country.
The city of Reynosa, where the grave was found, is one of many border towns where violence has increased the most in Mexico in recent years. The area’s proximity to the border with the United States is a focus of attraction for organized crime groups that control the illicit trafficking of arms and drugs between the two countries.
Reynosa is a city that has been in dispute for years between various cartels fighting for its control. The spiral of violence in the area rebounded strongly since 2017, when the Mexican Navy killed the head of the Gulf Cartel Julián Manuel Loisa Salinas.
The state of Tamaulipas accumulates 13,000 missing people
After locating the remains, the group has communicated the finding to the Tamaulipas State Attorney General’s Office, which is now leading the investigation.
Edith González, leader of the collective, has urged the population of Reynosa to denounce any knowledge they may have about the discovery and the disappeared. “Since we go live every time we make a discovery, people get up the courage to tell us that they have a missing family member. There are many who do not dare to report it, but we urge them to do so,” Gonzalez asked.
According to the National Registry of Missing and Unlocated Persons, in Mexico there are approximately 110,000 people missing. A figure that has not stopped growing since it began to be counted in 1962, and that has increased strongly since former President Felipe Calderón began the military campaign against drug trafficking in 2008.
Tamaulipas is the second state nationwide with the highest number of missing and missing persons, with more than 13,000 till the date.
The president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has promised several times in his morning press conference that he will carry out a national census of the disappeared to help the families in their search efforts. However, there have been no major efforts to carry out the project.
This abandonment of the state is a frequent reason for protest by families. This weekend, in the city of Guadalajara, in the state of Jalisco, relatives of the disappeared and groups from all over the country have demonstrated after the decision of Enrique Alfaro, governor of the state, to suspend attention to anonymous calls that report over clandestine graves.
The relatives of the disappeared have indicated that this decision affects their search efforts, since this type of complaint has been essential to find the victims.