Mexican officials found at least 59 bodies buried in Tamaulipas state Wednesday, just 80 miles from Brownsville, Texas.The corpses – buried in eight mass graves – were found during a search for abducted bus passengers, according to the AP. Authorities are still trying to determine the identities of the victims
It appears to be the largest discovery of mass graves since 72 migrants were found buried in the same town in Tamaulipas last August. Those deaths were attributed to Los Zetas, a drug trafficking organisation known for its brutality.
The body count is shocking – even in Mexico where 35,000 have been killed in drug violence since 2006.
Tamaulipas, once controlled by the Gulf Cartel, has experienced a major escalation in drug violence in recent years as a result of both cartel turf wars and the Mexican Army’s assault against the cartels. Unable to stop the bloodshed, the state has descended into lawlessness, a security dilemma that has become increasingly common in Mexico. The ongoing violence has eroded public support for President Felipe Calderon’s decision to send Mexican Army troops to fight the cartels.
News of the massacre came Wednesday as Mexicans across the country protested the war against the cartels. The protests were sparked by the death of Francisco Sicilia, the 24-year-old son of the well-known Mexican journalist and poet Javier Sicilia. The writer has called for the government to call a truce with the cartels to stem the violence.
organisers said more than 10,000 people demonstrated in Mexico City, Monterrey and Cuernavaca, Reuters reports.