Some of the bodies were found in abandoned lots in a ranch
Fourteen bodies and over two dozen bags full of human remains were found in Lagos de Moreno, a town in Jalisco that is close to the border with Guanajuato, one of Mexico’s most-violent states. This gruesome discovery was made over the course of ten days while authorities were conducting a search for missing persons. The search was finalized on June 17.
The first bodies were found in a ranch called El Puerto. Authorities found the bodies of three men and a woman who had with their hands and feet tied up. Their corpses were covered in quicklime. More bodies were found in a second ranch, San Cayetano, which is located in a mountainous area that is difficult to access. At the scene, authorities found ten more human remains covered in quicklime; one of them was a female and nine were male. Most of them were decapitated by their captors.
Investigators told reporters that the human remains had been there for nearly a month. They found 24 bullet shells at the crime scene, which suggests that the victims were killed and buried there. Drug cartels sometimes use quicklime to hide the scent of decomposing bodies and to accelerate their decay. At least two of the victims were positively identified by their families. The first victim went missing in May and the second victim went missing in mid-June. A few days later, authorities discovered an unspecified number of human remains in 75 plastic bags scattered throughout the municipalities of Tlaquepaque and Zapopan, Jalisco.
Background Coincidentally, in November 2019, Borderland Beat reported the discovery of 14 bodies that were exhumed by authorities in Lagos de Moreno. This mass grave was also discovered after investigators wereconducting a investigation for missing persons. Lagos de Moreno is located in an area known as Altos de Jalisco. This region has been experiencing high levels of drug-related violence in recent weeks. Last Tuesday, gunmen tried to kill the Jalostotitlan Municipality police chief Faustino Herrera Baltazar. He had replaced Oswaldo Garcia Vallejo, who was murdered on his day off from work last month, as reported by Borderland Beat.
Location of Lagos de Moreno within Mexico
Authorities believe that the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) holds a stronghold this area. Last year, the police arrested CJNG regional leader Adrián Alonso Guerrero Covarrubias (“El 08”), who operated out of municipalities in Altos de Jalisco.
In 2020 alone, more than 115 bodies have been found in at least ten clandestine mass graves across Jalicso. Most of them have been close to Guadalajara, the state’s capital. Lagos de Moreno, where these 14 human remains were found, is about a two hour drive from Guadalajara.
Over the past six years, Jalisco has experienced high levels of violence. According to government data, they reported 2,026 murders in 2019; 1,993 in 2018; 1,329 in 2017; 1,105 in 2016; 1,017 in 2015; and 904 in 2014. As of May 31, Jalisco already had 740 murders.