Excavations under way in La Gallera, Tijuana. Digging under way in La Gallera, Tijuana.

Suspect leads officials to Tijuana narco-grave

Excavations have turned up over 100 human bones

The confession of a crime suspect has guided authorities to a mass narco-grave in Tijuana, Baja California, where more than 100 human bones have been found.

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The secretary of the United for the Disappeared in Baja California Association, a non-governmental organization, told the newspaper El Universal that the arrest happened a month ago.

“When they [arrested criminals] realize they are facing long sentences, they start collaborating. They know they are going to spend the rest of their lives in jail and sometimes, with time, they feel guilt and confess,” said Fernando Oceguera.

The most recent confession led to search and excavation operations starting Tuesday on a piece of land known as La Gallera, located in the Maclovio Rojas neighborhood in eastern Tijuana, which was followed by the bones’ discovery the same day.

Oceguera explained that the remains included skulls, femurs, jawbones and teeth, all of which were sent to Mexico City for analysis.

A forensic team will obtain genetic samples and compare them to samples taken from relatives of missing persons.

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“One of the archaeologists said that they estimate the bones had [been buried] several years, maybe five or six, but we’re pleased that the pieces are complete and in good condition” and can provide information for families seeking missing relatives, Oceguera said.

La Gallera has been searched several times before: the new grave is the third such discovery on that piece of land.

It is one of more than 10 such pieces of land that criminal suspects have hinted were used to dispose of their executed victims.

Searchers have been hindered to some extent by the activities of Santiago Meza López, who was employed by drug cartels over a nine-year period to dispose of corpses by dissolving them in sodium hydroxide.

This activity earned Meza the nickname “El Pozolero” because the process has been compared to that of preparing pozole, a traditional Mexican soup.

La Gallera is in the area where El Pozolero operated. He was arrested in 2009 and has revealed that he dissolved over 300 corpses in metal drums.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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