In a chilling find near the US-Mexico border, volunteer searchers have uncovered the hacked-up remains of 27 bodies dumped in clandestine graves. Some of the corpses were dismembered into multiple pieces. The bodies were discovered just miles away from the center of Reynosa, a city located about 15 miles south of McAllen, Texas. The searchers that tracked down the bodies were affiliated with the missing person search group For the Love of the Disappeared.
The search group received an anonymous tip that led them to the burial site near an irrigation canal. Edith González, the leader of the search group, acknowledged that some of the information may come from individuals who were once involved with the criminal gangs but have since left. While these tips can be valuable, they also pose risks for search groups composed mainly of mothers and relatives of the missing. Earlier this month, a drug cartel used a fake report of a mass grave to lure police into a deadly trap in Jalisco state, prompting authorities to temporarily suspend police involvement in searches based on anonymous tips.
The bodies were found in 16 different burial pits, with some of them barely covered by a foot of dirt, indicating recent activity. The bodies were so fresh that relatives were able to recognize their loved ones, suggesting that these killings occurred recently. This group was able to identify at least four of the victims through visible tattoos on bits of flesh.
The prosecutor’s office in Tamaulipas, the border state where the graves were found, has confirmed that it is investigating the remains. These clandestine burial sites are often used by drug and kidnapping gangs to dispose of their victims. Tamaulipas, with approximately 13,000 recorded cases, has the second-highest number of missing persons in Mexico, trailing only Jalisco state, which has nearly 15,000.