Mexicans discover mass graves while protesting drug war

Posted on | april 11, 2011 | No Comments

A national protest — with demonstrations in two dozen Mexican cities and towns — against drug-related violence was abruptly interrupted by news reports of the discovery of 59 bodies in mass graves. The bodies were discovered by police officers investigating the hijacking of a busload of civilians by suspected narco-terrorists in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas.

The location of the mass graves is a known hotspot for violence related to the powerful drug gangs who are terrorizing parts of Mexico.

Such violence was condemned by protesters in the main square in Mexico City, who chanted: “No more blood!” Some protesters even demanded that Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon resign, claiming his strategy had only increased the bloodshed and created civil unrest.

More than 35,000 Mexicans have died in drug-related violence since the president began deploying the army to fight the cartels in 2006.

The bodies were discovered in numerous mass graves in San Fernando, police said, with 43 corpses found in a single grave.

Police officers reported that they had found the graves while investigating reports that buses in the area had been stopped and passengers pulled off and kidnapped. In one police raid, 11 people were arrested, while five people being held captive by the alleged kidnappers were freed.

The discovery of the mass graves is said to be the largest single discovery of bodies since 72 Central and South American migrants were found dead in the same town last August, after drug gangs allegedly killed them for refusing to work for them.

“This isn’t some jungle village in some distant land. These graves were found on our continent… in our backyard,” said former drug enforcement officer Peter Perotto. “We keep hearing about the Calderon government winning the day, but I don’t see it.”

Following the August discovery of bodies, President Felipe Calderon deployed government troops to help police fight criminals who use the area to transport narcotics into the United States.

The Calderon government claims it is making inroads in its battle against the drug cartels, and that police and military forces have captured or killed many of the top gang leaders.

A source within the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration told the Law Enforcement Examiner that much of the bloodshed due to fighting between rival criminal organizations such as Los Zetas, a group comprised of former Mexican military personnel.

AUTHOR: Jim Kouri
E-MAIL: COPmagazine [at]


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