Mexico violence: Skulls found in new Veracruz mass grave

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A shoe is pictured at the site of unmarked graves where a forensic team and judicial authorities are working after human skulls were found, in Alvarado, in Veracruz state, Mexico, 19 March, 2017Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
The site where the skulls and clothing was found measures 120 square metres

Dozens of skulls have been found at a site in the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz.

The find comes just days after Veracruz state Attorney General Jorge Winckler announced that more than 250 skulls had been discovered at another mass grave.

On Sunday, Mr Winckler said 47 skulls had been unearthed at the new site near the town of Alvarado.

Such discoveries are not unusual in Mexico but the number of remains found in Veracruz is particularly high.

Family on holiday

Mr Winckler said investigators had been able to match the remains to five people so far.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
So far, five of the remains could be matched to people reported missing

Three belonged to members of the same family from the central state of Queretaro. They had disappeared in September 2016 while they were in Veracruz on holiday.

The other two belonged to two young men who had disappeared in July and September 2016.

Forensic experts are trying to identify the other remains.

Last week, Mr Winckler told Mexican media that "Veracruz is an enormous mass grave" as he described how more than 250 skulls had been found at a site in the port city of Veracruz.

That mass grave had been discovered by relatives of missing people who, frustrated by the lack of official action, had started searching suspicious sites by themselves.

Mr Winckler said that drug traffickers had used Veracruz for many years as a dumping ground for bodies.

He has accused the previous state government, led by the now-fugitive governor Javier Duarte, of not doing enough to find and identify the bodies of people reported as disappeared.

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Official figures suggest that during Mr Duarte's six years as governor 5,785 people disappeared in Veracruz.

Less than half of those have been found.