A police officer examines a hidden grave in Nayarit. A police officer examines a hidden grave in Nayarit.

Body count at 33 in hidden Nayarit graves

Anonymous call to missing persons' families led to the discovery of clandestine graves

The number of bodies recovered by authorities from three clandestine graves in the Pacific coast state of Nayarit has risen to 33.


All the bodies were located on a property near the community of Pantanal in the municipality of Xalisco, about 10 kilometers south of state capital Tepic.

The first discovery was made Saturday after an organization of missing persons’ families received an anonymous call alerting it to the presence of a grave hidden among thick crops of banana plants and sugarcane.

After arriving at the property, members of the Colectivo Familias Unidas noticed a strong smell which led them to the exact site of the grave. Authorities excavated the grave and uncovered nine bodies.

On Monday, the group, assisted by state police and a dog squad, continued to search the property and detected two more clandestine graves; 14 bodies were recovered from one and six from the other.

Four more bodies were found yesterday but the number could rise further as the search continues.

All the remains were sent to a government morgue for identification.


The state government released a statement yesterday requesting assistance from the federal Attorney General’s office (PGR) in the case. The statement called on the PGR to lead the investigation, identify the bodies and prosecute those responsible.

Violence — including mass disappearances — has increased in the small coastal state since the end of March 2017 when former state attorney general Édgar Veytia was arrested in the United States on drug trafficking charges.

Since July last year, victims’ families began joining forces to denounce the disappearance of at least 200 people in the municipalities of Tepic, Xalisco and San Blás.

However, according to a report in the newspaper El Universal, while the state Attorney General’s office remained under the direction of people close to Veytia, it ignored the cases. It reported to the National Public Security System (SNSP) that just 25 people had disappeared in Nayarit since 2009.

In the final months of his administration, former governor Robert Sandoval attributed rising levels of violence to a realignment of cartel power as gangs tried to take advantage of a change of government.

It wasn’t until November 2017, two months after Antonio Echeverría García assumed office as governor, that the state government finally recognized that 206 reports of disappeared people had been made to the end of October last year.

In December, the Attorney General’s office updated disappearance figures with the SNSP, reporting that there are still 145 unresolved missing persons cases in the state including 114 cases that were reported last year.

Source: El Universal (sp)

Stories from our archives that you might enjoy

  • WestCoastHwy

    There you have it, the Mexican government = cartel = organized crime = impunity = civil war = illegal crime economy = a failed state. It’s amazing how it can exist but look who’s president in the good of USA. I guess it’s fair to say that we are at a low point in human civilization at one end and reaching for the stars on the other. Diversity is good!

    • Mike S

      There you have it, millions of depressed miserable hard drug addicts in the US sending billions in cash south each year to support organized crime. And the gringo gun-runners get in on the action too. Agent Orange’s response is to blame Mexico and call them criminals. His ugly wall isn’t going to deter drug use in US one bit.
      70,000 died in US from drug overdoses in 2017…most got started with prescription drugs reaching for the stars. Another 12,000 died from gun homicides reaching for the stars. Another 50,000 committed suicide reaching for the stars. Trump wants to deport 800,000 Dreamers ending their reach for the stars. This ugly, sick, narcissistic, pathologically lying, bigoted, conman and his useless kids and mail order bride need to vacate the White House.

      • Pesobill

        There you have it another clueless libertard dufus blaming the USA and its president for the lawless morally bankrupt illegals problems. Get a clue.. Poor USA, far from God and too close to Mexico.

        • Mike S

          The hard drug scourge and all its ugly ramifications is a problem that will best be solved by both sides of the border accepting responsibility and cooperating to to solve it. This is beyond a bigot like Trump’s thinking ability. His narcissistic ego will not allow acceptance of any responsibility from the US. He uses fear, blame, bullying, xenophobia, and demagoguery for political gain among his die-hard followers.
          Most educated people on the left look for deeper explanations, causes, and solutions i.e. most are truth seekers at a deeper level. Most from the right want simplistic answers and an authoritarian leader- and that usually means racism, fear of other cultures, and violence. Trump thrives on those darker angels. The fearful far right constantly preaches intolerance and demands incarceration or violence against cultures and peoples that look different and they don’t understand. A stupid expensive ugly wall and increased incarceration is not the answer. The 40 year expensive “war on drugs” has been a colossal failure. Accepting responsibility for high US drug demand and finding a solution to that problem is a first step and where cooperative resources should be spent on both sides of the border. Rehabilitation and educating youth about the perils of hard drug addiction is far more effective than a failed, expensive, violent “war on drugs” and a useless $35 billion wall. This is a public heath problem. We should be supporting Mexico and cooperating with them in these areas. Be leery of authoritarian demagogues like Trump offering simplistic answers and appealing to fear and bigotry. Turn off Fox News.

      • terrinhaley

        good post