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Forensic investigators at a grave site in Michoacán. Forensic investigators at a grave site in Michoacán.

Secret graves yield remains of 22 in Villamar, Michoacán

Some are recent, others had been buried for years

Authorities in Michoacán have recovered the remains of 22 people from clandestine graves in Villamar, a municipality in the state’s northwest.

The number of bodies found in the community of Los Negritos increased from 20 to 22 Thursday. The Michoacán Attorney General’s Office said in a statement Friday that bone remains of two people were located Thursday night. The first of the human remains – those of four men and two women – were discovered on agricultural land on June 18.

State government secretary Carlos Torres Piña said Thursday that some of the bodies were buried recently while others had been in the graves for many years. The remains, none of which have been identified, have been transferred to a government morgue for autopsies and forensic identification testing.

While it is clear that a criminal organization has been disposing of bodies in Los Negritos, the identity of that group hasn’t been established.

Michoacán was the second most violent state in the first five months of 2022 with 1,204 homicides. The state’s Tierra Caliente region, where the Jalisco New Generation Cartel and the Cárteles Unidos are engaged in a battle for supremacy, is particularly notorious for violence. Villamar is located near Michoacán’s northwestern border with Jalisco, about 40 kilometers west of Zamora, which was the most violent city in the world last year, according to a study by a Mexican non-governmental organization.

With reports from Milenio and El Sol de Morelia 

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