300 Skulls Found in Mexican Cartel Mass Graves

FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2014 file photo, clandestine graves are taped off after 28 bodies were found in them near Iguala, Mexico. Mass graves are regularly found around the country _ 11 bodies in August in Michoacan state, 19 others in Iguala just last May. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
AP File Photo/Eduardo Verdugo

The recent discoveries of new clandestine cartel gravesites with close to 300 human skulls continue to shed light into the horrors that residents of Veracruz endure at the hands of ruthless drug cartels and Mexican politicians who turned a blind eye.

A recent discovery of a new gravesite with 47 human skulls and multiple other remains points to the shallow gravesite being the resting final place of tourists and students who were reported missing last year, information released by the Veracruz government revealed. The discovery was made in a tract of land near the town of Alvarado, Veracruz.

As Veracruz authorities continue working to locate other clandestine grave sites, they  have been able to substantiate the theory that three relatives from the Mexican State of Queretaro who had traveled to Veracruz as tourists in September 2016 when they went missing. Two other young men who also went missing in mid-2016 from the port city of Veracruz appear to be among the human remains in the clandestine gravesite.

Earlier this month, Veracruz Attorney General Jorge Winckler confirmed the discovery of more than 250 human skulls who he claimed are likely victims of cartel violence and had been dead for years. The human remains were not found by authorities, but by groups made up of grieving relatives who continue to search for answers about their missing loved ones.   The human remains found at the time made up only 30 percent of one particular ranch.

Veracruz, like several other Mexican states that have been under the control of Mexican drug cartels, particularly Los Zetas, have dozens of clandestine grave sites that government officials have tried to cover up in the past. Breitbart Texas reported in on the various methods used by cartel members to dispose of bodies in an effort to avoid drawing attention. The practice has led to numerous clandestine grave sites in Veracruz, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, Guerrero, Coahuila Chihuahua and possibly multiple other places that have yet to be discovered.

Currently, Javier Duarte, the former governor of Veracruz, is listed as a fugitive by the InterPol in connection with a series of warrants out of Mexico connecting him with the alleged embezzlement of government funds and of engaging in organized criminal activity. Duarte has been singled out as having either worked with or ignored the activities of Mexican drug cartels in his state.

In early 2016, Breitbart Texas published the result of a three month investigation into how members of the Los Zetas cartel were able to kidnap, murder and incinerate hundreds of victims including women and children from one rural community in the Mexican border state of Coahuila. Approximately 150 of those victims were incinerated inside the Piedras Negras State Prison using 55-gallon drums. The case revealed a widespread collaboration between the Los Zetas cartel and Coahuila state officials at the highest levels. 

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon.  You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

Brandon Darby is managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

Tony Aranda contributed to this report. 


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