By Chris Covert
The final death toll for the mass graves find in Durango state is 331 victims, according to Mexican news accounts.
Last December in Christoph Colon ejido in Durango municipality, a total of 50 dead had been found. At the time it was reported that ten had been found in the area, but recent reports said that the actual count was 50 total.
The latest, and according to Fiscalia General del Estado, Sonia Yadira Fragoso, the last likely to be found, was part of a string of finds in Durango primarily in Durango city, the capital of Durango state.
|Fiscalia General del Estado, Sonia Yadira Fragoso|
Other locations for the graves include Santiago Papasquiario, Cuencame and Ciudad Lerdo. The searches and exhumations began starting April, 2011, following the detention of suspect.
Of the 331 victims found only 37 have been identified by relatives to date. Also, most of those killed were killed by asphixiation, mainly by being buried alive. The victims were killed as far back as 2005, well before the start of Mexican President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa's war on the cartels.
The Sinaloa cartel was reported last summer in Mexican press as the most likely culprits in the murders. The killings were probably a part of the normal course of organized crime business in Durango.
Apparently, Mexican press had varying counts for the dead. Last Monday it was reported that the total dead was 300, which would have jibed with the find in December. However even with the newly announced find, reports said the total was 301, while Proceso leftist weekly had the total at 321. This writer had the total at 330.
The Durango mass grave find is the worst mass murder in modern Mexican history eclipsing even the 193 dead found in and around San Fernando, Tamaulipas last summer. However, all of the dead in San Fernando were killed between August, 2010 and April, 2011.
Chris Covert write Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com