A band of 15 “sicarios” responsible for depositing the bodies of murder victims into the ventilation shaft of the Mina de la Cocha outside the tourist city of Taxco, Guerrero are now in the custody of the Procuradoria General de la Republica (PGR) in Acapulco.
The arrests occurred early Saturday morning in the city of Iguala, Guerrero.
According to press reports, the men were apprehended by Mexican army troops in response to an anonymous phone tip. The caller described a group of heavily armed men dressed in black uniforms of the previously disbanded AFI federal police force that were in a safe house in the colonia Arboledas section of Iguala.
After a brief fire fight the gunmen surrendered to the army. Several weapons and vehicles were confiscated.
In an increasingly common and ominous occurrence with organized crime arrests, various uniforms belonging to several federal and municipal police forces were also confiscated. These included the AFI, PFP and Transito Municipal.
After interrogating the suspects, authorities obtained the information leading to the discovery of the mass grave in Taxco
The state of Guerrero, for many years recognized as one of the more violent areas in Mexico, is the site of extensive cultivation of marijuana and opium.
The state suffered severe government repression in the 1970’s and 80’s due to a rural insurrection by a Marxist guerilla movement. The ERPI guerilla movement is still active in the more isolated areas of Guerrero and is said to tax the growers in their areas of control.
Drug trafficking in Guerrero was largely under the control of the La Familia drug cartel until the death of Arturo Beltran Leyva in December 2009 at the hands of the Mexican marine forces.
Now the faction of the Beltran Leyva Organization headed by “la Barbie”, who along with the Zetas are the most ruthless of the Mexican cartels, is fighting to take control of the Guerrero plaza.
Over 40 bodies now counted within the mass grave
Authorities in Guerrero have now located more than 40 bodies in various states of decomposition within the ventilation shaft of the Mina de la Cocha.
As of Monday six bodies and four heads had been recovered.
A spokesman at the site, Albertico Guinto Sierra, stated that current count of bodies is only an estimate and the number could increase as recovery efforts continue. Other access routes into the shaft are being studied to quicken the pace of the recovery operations.
Forensic personnel working within the shaft estimated the latest body deposited was only 6 days old and was tentatively identified as David Bravo Mota, the director of the Cereso prison in Iguala who had disappeared a week ago.