By Sergio ChapaValleyCentral.com
Mexican officials are investigating a gruesome discovery south of the border in San Fernando, Tamaulipas.
San Fernando residents first reported via Twitter on Wednesday morning that a 'narcograve' had been found in the Ejido La Joya.
Mexico's Attorney General's Office (PGR) confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that they investigating a report of a mass grave in the San Fernando, Tamaulipas area.
An agency spokesperson told Action 4 News that there is no formal report but federal officials are at the site investigating the crime scene.
There are no official numbers but residents report that as many as 40 to 48 bodies may have been recovered from the site.
Mexican media outlets are reporting that as many as 60 bodies have been recovered as of Wednesday evening.
Officials are investigating if any of those bodies may be those of 40 immigrants who were kidnapped from two passenger buses back on March 17th and April 5th, 2010.
PGR officials reported that the buses were in San Luis Potosi and headed to the United States when they were hijacked.
Family members reported receiving ransom demands ranging from $100 to $1,300 American dollars.
The kidnappers threatened family members and told not to go to authorities.
The immigrants were never seen again but PGR officials sent a bulletin last week reporting that four men had been arrested in connection to the case.
The men were identified as: Bernardo Gonzalez-Jimenez, Esteban Garcia-Perez, Arturo Mayorga-Villeda and J. Abel Garay-Martinez
It's not clear if the arrests led to the discovery of the mass grave.
Located about 90 miles south of Brownsville, San Fernando is no stranger to violence and kidnappings.
The ranching and agricultural town was a focal point for violence between former allies the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas back in the spring of 2010.
The beleaguered city has also been the location of numerous clashes between the Mexican military and drug traffickers.
Last August, the Mexican Navy found the bodies of 72 slain immigrants in a ranch outside San Fernando.
Only one immigrant survived and managed to tell authorities.
The Mexican government made arrests in the case but is still offering a $5 million peso reward to capture those responsible.
The American Consulate in Matamoros still has a travel warning in effect for highways going through San Fernando.
Consul Michael Barkin told Action 4 News in a past interview that many Americans have reported being carjacked in the area.
The carjackings did not target any specific type of vehicle and reportedly took place at different times of the day and night.
Alto Bonito missionary Nancy Davis was killed during a botched carjacking between San Fernando and Reynosa back in late January.
No arrests have been made in Davis' death.
According to a communiqué released today by the Tamaulipas State Attorney General’s Office, 59 bodies have been located at the ejido La Joya in the municipality of San Fernando.
Eight mass graves were found at the site: 11 bodies were found in the first six graves discovered, the seventh grave yielded 43 bodies and 5 bodies were found in the eighth grave.
The location of the clandestine graves was the result of a formal investigation begun by federal and state authorities into the kidnappings of passengers from a bus on March 25th of this year.
Eleven suspects have been detained and are in the custody of the Federal Attorney General’s office. Five kidnap victims were also freed.
Several incidents of passengers abducted from bus lines on routes traveling from the State of San Luis Potosi have been reported in recent days.
One incident occurred on the night of Friday, April 1st , when an undetermined number of farmworkers from Ciudad Valle, San Luis Potosi were removed from a “Transportes Frontera” bus at a “narco” checkpoint in San Fernando. According to relatives the men were headed to Rio Bravo and Valle Hermoso to work the corn and sorghum fields in that area.
There has been no contact with the men since they disappeared and family members say they are desparate for any knowledge of their whereabouts.
Two of the kidnapped men were identified as Benito Barrios Garces, 45, and Cesar Martinez Omar Ortiz, 33.
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