Collectives dedicated to searching for missing family members have found a large clandestine gravesite containing at least 80 bodies in Celaya, Guanajuato.
While the number of bodies in the gravesite in the Celaya community of Sauz de Villaseñor is yet to be confirmed, a spokeswoman for one of the collectives said they believed there could be even more murder victims than those in the nearby city of Salvatierra, where the remains of 79 people were found in October.
“It’s plagued with graves,” said the spokeswoman, who only identified herself as Bibiana. “We are beginning to verify the area, and there was one grave after the other and after the other.”
An anonymous call led them to the site, members said. According to the newspaper Reforma, the graves mainly contained bones, not decomposing bodies, suggesting they had been there for some time.
Bibiana, whose brother went missing in 2010, accused Guanajuato’s state and local authorities of being uncooperative, hostile, and incompetent in assisting them with processing the site once they reported it on Saturday.
Municipal police, she said, threatened them with arrest at one point while authorities from the Attorney General’s Office came and took away only some remains from the site, leaving others behind and exposed to the elements.
They exhumed the remains in a way that made them “totally inadmissible [as evidence],” she said.
The family members returned at 8 a.m. on Sunday, this time accompanied by officials with the state search commission, at which time they found even more remains.
“They called attorney general officials but they refused to come,” Bibiana said.
According to Reforma, officials arrived at 5 p.m. that day.
“I think that in Guanajuato it’s about time that the governor created a forensic investigation institute that is connected with the Attorney General’s Office,” Bibiana said.
The group planned to return to the site Monday morning to continue searching.