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The area in Veracruz where hidden graves have been identified. The area in Veracruz where hidden graves have been identified.

New secret cemetery in Veracruz contains at least 36 graves

There could be more than 200 bodies, according to unofficial estimates

A property with a large number of hidden graves has been located in Veracruz, the state attorney general said yesterday.

Jorge Winckler Ortiz said that authorities have so far only examined 10% of the surface of the land but have already detected 36 graves.

“The property has already been secured by the Attorney General’s Office and after a preliminary inspection in which specialized search technologies were used . . .  36 positive points of probable hidden graves have been found,” he said.

Located in the municipality of La Antigua in the center of the Gulf coast state, the site is difficult to access, Winckler said, adding that the exhumation of bodies won’t start until next week.

The attorney general explained that statements from people interviewed in relation to missing persons cases helped locate the property.

Winckler said it is believed that the site was used by a criminal gang to dispose of the bodies of its victims but the date when it ceased to be used for that purpose is unknown.

He added that the preliminary inspection of the property indicated that bodies could be buried at a depth of less than one meter.

The newspaper El Financiero reported that there could be more than 200 bodies in the makeshift graves, according to non-government sources who have seen the property.

National Search Commissioner Karla Quintana Osuna said that collectives made up of family members of missing persons will be invited to supervise further search efforts at the property.

Since President López Obrador took office in December, she added, around 100 hidden graves have been found throughout Mexico.

Several clandestine graves where hundreds of people were buried have been found in Veracruz in recent years.

In September, at least 174 skulls were exhumed from 32 graves on a property in Arbolillo, a sleepy fishing village on the Gulf of Mexico, and in 2017 more than 200 bodies were found in mass graves in Colinas de Santa Fe, a neighborhood on the outskirts of the port city of Veracruz.

Source: El Financiero (sp), e-veracruz (sp)

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