MEXICO CITY – A clandestine grave containing eight bodies “in a very advanced state of decomposition” was found in El Testarazo, a town in the western Mexican state of Nayarit, the president of the Familias Unidas organization, Santiago Perez, told EFE on Tuesday.
The mass grave was found last Friday in the Loma de los Coyotes field after a peasant “noticed a foul odor while harvesting cane” and notified police, who used a search dog to locate the bodies, Perez said.
Police recently found other clandestine graves about one kilometer (0.62 miles) from Loma de los Coyotes.
The bodies, which may have been buried “around seven or eight months,” have not been identified, Perez said.
The Familias Unidas president said residents waited before notifying the media out of respect for the victims.
Nine clandestine graves have now been found in Nayarit, with the victims a product “of the organized crime war, the disputes, the fight for money,” Perez said.
The bodies of 33 people, including three women, were found on Jan. 13, Jan. 15 and Jan. 16 in four clandestine graves in Xalisco, another town in Nayarit.
A total of 173 people have been reported missing in the state, of whom 63 were found alive, 16 were confirmed dead and 94 are still unaccounted for.
The majority of victims found in mass graves are civilians caught up in drug-related violence, Perez said.
“Although there wasn’t much at first, we’re now seeing more activity on the part of the people from the prosecutor’s office, they’re investigating, searching,” Perez said.