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The Searching Mothers of Sonora at work. The Searching Mothers of Sonora at work.

‘Searching Mothers’ turn up 19 secret graves in Guaymas, Sonora

Remains of at least 10 people were found in one of them

A citizen’s collective in Sonora that searches for burial sites of missing relatives made a grisly discovery Wednesday: 19 clandestine graves, one of which contained the remains of at least 10 people.

The Madres Buscadores of Sonora, or “Searching Mothers of Sonora,” a group that has found about 200 such graves since being formed in 2019, made its latest discovery in Ortiz, Guaymas.

The group of around 30 women, who search using little more than shovels and pickaxes for digging, also found three spent and rusted ammunition shells buried with some of the remains, most of which were not more than scatterings of badly burned bones.

“Why do you burn the bodies?” one group member asked with disbelief in her voice as she filmed the group’s live broadcast on Facebook of the search through remote, desiccated land.

“With their death, they’re already gone,” she added ruefully.

Burning bodies is a common method criminal gangs use to dispose of their victims.

At that point, the brigade was digging out the 15th gravesite of the day.

The Sonora Attorney General’s Office said that forensic experts and detectives would be following up on the discoveries Thursday and analyzing the remains.

Madres Buscadoras was created by leader Cecy Flores, whose own son, Marco Antonio, went missing in Bahía de Kino, located near Hermosillo, in 2019. In the group’s searches throughout Sonora, it has found gravesites and even a “crematorium” site used to burn victims’ bodies. At times, they search for bodies in notoriously dangerous areas known to be smuggling routes and cartel territory.

Organizers said the group would next be heading to Huatabampo to do more searches on Friday and Saturday.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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