Mexico mass graves add fuel to public's anger over drug war
Nearly 60 bodies were discovered by authorities this week about 80 miles from Brownsville, Texas. Officials say the suspects are members of the Zetas, one of Mexico’s most violent drug gangs.
The US-Mexico border is at the center of another gruesome scene in Mexico's drug war.Skip to next paragraph
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Authorities have arrested eight people in connection with the killings and officials say the suspects are members of the Zetas, one of Mexico’s most violent drug gangs.
This week's discovery comes in the wake of criticism from the United Nations of Mexican President Felipe Calderón's military approach to the country's battle with organized crime. It was also made public the same day Mexicans gathered in marches across the country demanding solutions to rising insecurity, highlighting the concerns of an increasingly weary public.
“[Authorities] have not done enough to end corruption within the system. There is a lack of investigation and impunity," says Alberto Xicotencatl, the director of a migrant shelter in Saltillo in northern Mexico who works to help kidnapped migrants. “If there are not people held responsible, [criminals] know they can continue to operate.”
It is unclear who the victims are in the most recent mass graves discovered: migrants or drug rivals or others. According to the Associated Press, Mexican authorities found the bodies in the state of Tamaulipas while searching for passengers missing from buses along the route frequented by migrants heading to the US.
There are also no arrests so far. But President Calderón issued a statement condemning the attack and blaming it on drug traffickers. It "underlines the cowardliness and total lack of scruples of the criminal organizations that cause violence in our country," he said in a statement.
UN report criticizes Calderón's government
His strategy came under fire in a recent UN report, which apart from recommending that the military be removed from the fight also pointed to human rights abuses, including 11,333 migrants kidnapped in a six-month period between April and September of last year, according to Mexico’s National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH). CNDH also issued a statement on April 2 stating that since 2006 the organization has registered 5,397 missing persons.