23 bodies discovered in Mexican community known for highly acidic hot springs and mud pits

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Prosecutors in western Mexico said they have located 23 sets of skeletal remains in a lakeside community known for its highly acidic hot springs and mud pits.

The prosecutor’s office in Michoacan said only eight of the bodies, six men and two women, had been identified, mainly by clothing or dental records.

The rest of the bodies were so badly deteriorated that DNA testing might be necessary, the office said Sunday.

Some victims died from gunshot wounds, others from mutilation and one from head trauma, the prosecutor’s office said.  Forensic anthropology and dental studies revealed that the age of the victims ranges between 16 and 60 years of age, officials said.

It is unclear if criminals intentionally dumped the bodies in the area known as Los Negritos – after the black mud facial masks popular there – so they would disappear more quickly.

The area is near the town of La Barca, where authorities in 2013 found more than five dozen bodies in mass graves linked to the Jalisco cartel. The Department of Justice considers the Jalisco cartel to be “one of the five most dangerous transnational criminal organizations in the world.”   

Drug cartels in Mexico frequently using clandestine burial pits to dispose of the bodies of kidnapping victims or rivals.  In March, authorities in northern Mexico said volunteer searchers have found 11 bodies in pits just a few miles from the U.S. border.

Mexico currently has more than 100,000 people listed as missing.



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