Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

The Unnamed of Calderon Leave Their Mark

Monday, October 29, 2012 |

Mexico • 24,102 people: the equivalent of half a football stadium or a medium-sized town is the approximate number of bodies that have gone to the grave at the end of the current administration. And most importantly, it is a highly conservative estimate. It does includes full records of Mexico's most violent states, such as Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas.

Throughout the six years of Calderon's Presidency, thousands of bodies have been buried in obscurity. Several more bodies are added every week: They are migrants, innocents, homeless, homeless families, criminals, and victims of homicide. There are bones and bodily remains apparently unclaimed without owners, which are often buried and stacked in cemeteries across the country from the U.S. border to the Yucatan Peninsula. These faceless corpses are listed in official records only as NN.  No Name.
Extensive research from Milenio, based on over 470 records requests filed with state forensic medical services, municipal governments and even with the administration of small local cemeteries, brings a rough sketch that outlines a national atlas of unidentified bodies.

Among the data emerging from the research are two parallel events: 1) some attorneys general do not want to reveal the numbers of unidentified dead under their power. And 2) the number of bodies sent to grave has climbed every year since the beginning of Calderon's term, on par with the number of executed criminals and victims killed in violence overall. On average, 10 bodies unclaimed name or have been buried daily.

So far, with the figures for 2012 still unfinished and updated only through August 2011, and September, 2011 starts a period in which the remains of more people were placed in public areas, without the benefit of a tombstone which completely ending the identification process: 4, 927 corpses never were claimed in that year, during which, coincidentally, it was the year with the highest number of executions linked to organized crime in all of Felipe Calderón's administration.
The picture painted by the obtained documents clearly shows that in some cities, like Juarez and Monterrey, and Celaya, many corpses were in state of abandonment that were left to he abilities of the cemetery to process.. Consequently, new ditches in cemeteries have had to be excavated. It is a scenario that is repeated across the Republic, with mass graves or cemeteries running out of space, they have begun to recycle their spaces, removing and discarding the remains of seven years old.

Some cities and states saw the number of unidentified -NNs  (no-names) rapidly multiply. In Nayarit, the figures tripled in three years. In Baja California, they grew by 100 percent. In Torreón, they multiplied 10 times. In the port of Veracruz, there were over a thousand unidentified bodies in 2011. Durango, they went from having eight bodies buried without a name in 2006 jumpedto 438 in 2011 (see graphic above).
Not only that. The lack of control in the management of unidentified remains in many government entities, but also this  is found in many private entities as well, as evidenced by several of the responses in this process. The report which took more than three months in development and for which it was necessary to create a database from accumulated data with thousands of figures. But these are the ones that have been recovered: the missing may never be computed. Fifty municipalities have lost their files prior to 2008 and 2009 and many have lost records from the location of bodies which makes later further study, investigation and identification unlikely. 

Some states, such as Michoacan, never recognized integrating a state-based data on unidentified bodies and have only just begun that process, although the violence has left thousands killed in that state. The Michoacan Attorney General can not answer how many bodies  the medical examiner received in the administration. "No statistic has the" justified reliance.

"The information on unidentified bodies held by government which have entered the medical examiner is not located together in one place or  well documented in a single organized relationship over the entire state." But the PGJE-Michoacán said they are already working to correct this deficiency.

Requests for transparency, which will be available for public consultation www.milenio.com not only gives an idea of the general situation of unidentified bodies, but shows different levels of progress in terms of transparency in the country and states. 

To obtain the data, it was necessary to use emails and state portals (Infomex, Saimex, Guanajuato Unit), without neglecting numerous phone calls and liaison to Social Communication to correct "mistakes" such as file loss, illegible documents and pages offline for weeks. 

A total of 479 petitions submitted under pseudonyms, some were answered but some 191-230 all went unanswered. That is, they were completely ignored by the authorities. Another 40 applications were rejected, declared missing or classified as confidential state security. 

Many states and municipalities provided the information without delay, as the Federal District, Sonora, Chihuahua and Guanajuato, among others. Their municipalities administrations relations' prepared detailed statistics, held their forensic medical services and burial administrations open. In general, information was available in 25 of the 31 states and over 210 cities and towns. 
It is these responses that arise the well disguised facts detailing how Mexico processes the nameless dead. For example, the bodies in Jalisco after taking a DNA sample are burned. The remaining ashes and a small jar with genetic material remain in niches, waiting for a possible identification. On the other hand, Monterrey is very precise: keeps track of pathological parts, ie limbs, organs retrieved from hospitals or in public. Some cities in Sonora to open their old graves  of people who no longer have family and Pachuca records fetuses - aborted, or abandoned - among all the bodies sent to their graves.

But there is the other side. There are states that did their best not to reveal the number of unidentified bodies processed in forensic services. Despite repeated calls, it was impossible to locate any transparency in the Office of Tamaulipas and that agency spokesman, Ruben Dario, said flatly that "there is no such data anyway because there was a transition of government and we do not know what happened before.  He went further: Tamaulipas  does not collect corpses because "that is the job of the Attorney General."

Some states shaved their numbers or have calculation mistakes. The Attorney General of Sinaloa reported only a few bodies were  sent in to their company of calculation.   only 54 dead bodies from the mass graves in 2011,  and 227 in the entire administration. But a simple review of the medical service page, where scanned images are stored for unclaimed bodies, puts skepticism and doubts on those numbers. Its database of unidentified, unclaimed deceased located a total of 332 people during the administration.  91 bodies in 2011 alone, double the figure reported via transparency-were left in the hands the coroner.

In other states requesting the information, it turned out to be a tangled process and impossible to fulfill. In states like Oaxaca it is asked to bring a printed card facilities its attorney. In Campeche and Chiapas no transparency or even reliable systems: its pages are several months out of service and don't support questions. Baja California Sur has not bothered to open a service at all yet.

The State of Mexico deserves mention. Data from corpses in mass graves were obtained by their municipalities and their central government, which put various obstacles to prevent the information was disclosed. While most municipalities mexiquenses data revealed their bodies were sent to the pit, the Attorney General made "mistakes"  attaching files to the responses on its website.  the unit promised responsible for its transparency, "It will be resolved quickly," but a month has passed.

Beyond the technical problems, there are the negatives. That was the case of the Attorney General from the Offices of Veracruz and Aguascalientes as well as the prosecution office in Yucatán. The first two entities classified data as confidential, all information relating to the number of bodies received and processed by their respective forensic services (although municipalities delivered their data promptly without any problem). The Yucatan, for instance declared itself incompetent to answer any questions because, they said, that is not within its powers to have the bodies.


With respect to Veracruz, the argument went thus far: they literally said that the permanence of government, its institutions and to the territorial integrity of the state "would be at risk" to be known such data, in addition it would "invade privacy" of the unknown corpses.

Milenio appealed to the Veracruz Institute of Access Information (LAVI) to review that decision convinced that there is no invasion of privacy of a body without identity. Also cited was one of the criteria of the Federal Institute of Access to Information statistics stating that, whatever their nature, is public.

In the end, the LAVI ruled in favor of this newspaper to consider their arguments and held that the argument of the Attorney Veracruz "lacked legal validity." So far, the PGJE has not complied with the mandate to disclose its files of unidentified bodies.
Despite that, some thirty Veracruz municipalities themselves provided the information requested. And it was this that allowed the construction of a map, incomplete but functional, on the situation of unidentified bodies and unclaimed in Veracruz. From this data it was revealed that the state has resorted to more graves. In total, six years so far and still waiting for the state figures that  the attorney could generate, municipal administrations have documented burial of 5,245 people. The highest figure in the entire country.

24,102 people is the most concrete figure has been added under this methodology. And yet, it is a conservative figure. Beyond Monterrey, failed to ask the municipal level in violent entities such as Nuevo Leon-Guerrero much less, and the requests that were made to the municipalities of Sinaloa Infomex system disappeared  by a "computer error" that two months later, has not been corrected by the State Commission on Access to Public Information. There were lost data from Culiacán, Badiraguato, Mazatlan and Los Mochis that, most likely, it would have increased the number of NNs (no names).

Milenio

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65 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Not very exact record keepers!
Hopeless and disrespectful! Good story.

Anonymous said...

They threw the respect for the dead not out the window but in a narcofosa

Anonymous said...

Day of the Dead celebrations is enough respect for those who died because ending up in a narco grave is about as low as you go anywhere. Statistics are a joke in this case but Milenio should be applauded and BB for bringing it. Good photos

Anonymous said...

Theyve been saying the deathtoll is 60000 for about 3 years now. I know its probably at about 300,000 maybe more because they dont count missing people. Either way people still idolize people like chapo even though hes the one that paid calderons fraud to help him conquer mexico

Anonymous said...

Little behind the times in forensics, are we? Does it matter cause we don't prosecute anyway but two percent. We're working on it since 2010.

Anonymous said...

Quit nit picking- so tiresome.

Anonymous said...

How do these numbers compare with similar tragedies in Uganda and Sudan?

Anonymous said...

When gob. Is involved, does it time and time again have to be so lame and inefficient? It is so unfair to relatives in the graves never to have 'closure." They just really don't care except how to screw Mexico's people more. Shameful

Anonymous said...

this map is wrong...wheres tamaulipas in all of this....they be killing here by the handful

Anonymous said...

To end all of this u need to start from the goverment.Mexican goverment started all this by stilling from hard workin ppl and now the same ppl from the same places r the ones that got money and power and now they want to put a stop to it cuz they cant take there money cuz they got to powerfull all this is a REVOLUCION MEXICANA in wich the goverment is loosing VIVA MEXICO

Anonymous said...

Dismal, disgusting, display of humanity. The Mexican government has got to try harder for its' people.

Anonymous said...

What's going on, Havana? You the only one there? I'd say we miss you in the forum but we don't cause you are still kicking around with us 2nd class citizens. You make us proud- keep churning out the copy and never mind the rotten eggs for comments!

Anonymous said...

Basically, color me OUTRAGED!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Do you know if you click on the map you can read it better because it enlarges. I never knew that. Good to know. Oh the story makes it look like Mexico doesn't care about their nameless dead at all. Just terrible!

Anonymous said...

You know I looked for better narco blogs than this one and there really aren't many better for idiots that won't learn Spanish.

Anonymous said...

At some point, they're going to run out of people to kill.

Anonymous said...

Chivis usually has weighed in with her dos centavos by now, she okay?

Anonymous said...

Havana, answer the question about Chivis, okay?

Anonymous said...

24,000? I thought the official # was 60,000??? 24,000 my ass..

Anonymous said...

All of these people had family that loved them, and who miss them. And all of this so some assholes can use cocaine and meth. Fucking brutal. If your hell bent on doing drugs, grow your own weed. This is horrible.

Anonymous said...

Zetas at work killing innocent people. I hope el Chapo gets rid of 40 and the rest of the Z's so they stop killing innocent hard working mexicans.

Zetas = extortion, kidnapping, killing bystanders and business owners and then they do drug trafficking.

El Chapo = drug trafficking and now killing zetas to protect the people

Anonymous said...

It seems incredible that so many people are unidentified victims they all had someone somewhere that cared for them. It seems to me that the public has a complete loss of faith in the authorities to do anything about a missing person report. Obviously there is no central law enforcement clearing house. There are at least 24,000 people looking for closure. The number is probably more like 100,000. Que Lastima-Que Triste!!!

Anonymous said...

You know-this is just a terrible way to treat the dearly departed. Just plain criminal! They look heartless in Mexico, but they're not.

Bill Reilly said...

All these people dead and the drugs are still flowing while there are more cartels than ever and more violent than any time in the history of modern Mexico. Thanks you puppet!

Anonymous said...

Even if you grossed everyone else out today,Havana! I'll say nice effort

Anonymous said...

This is the first time i place a comment .im from eagle pass tx all the time when i here about massive graves nobody seems to care about allthe families that were killed in allende coah. They were all killed by los z even children under12 a total of 120 in less than 2 hours record time ..but who cares politics are involved whith z crook cops in the US if dont believe me come toeagle pass and see all the shit that happens in the american dream..were allthe same just like in mexico da only difference is just the rio bravo that separates us....

Anonymous said...

Seems like Mex. didn't even have a plan to keep track of these bodies-Come on,Mexico-Give your people reason to have some pride! Do right by them once in a while!

Anonymous said...

What is all this CALDERON dribble, are you upset that someone tried to force Mexico into the human race? You should be happy the new President will fill the bill business as usual standards of a worm,oh well its Mexico some things will never change.

Anonymous said...

WTF? Don't know what is worse the situation or how amateur the the government handled documenting the buried, unidentified

Anonymous said...

Can someone please illuminate me as to what Specific Calderon policy triggered this chain of events that caused so many death's? What should he have done differently? Was this something that was bound to happen regardless?

Anonymous said...

Grotesque......I honestly do not believe this calderon war on drugs was worth it,too many lives lost.....its ok for us to say it was worth it because its knocked out some top capo's and left some cartels in shambles....but we aint dead like those up above,ones life is so precious.

Anonymous said...

It puts the Iraq war to shame

Anonymous said...

The most ignorant and lazy thing u can do is blame the presidente.

Anonymous said...

i BET all the workers you see in these pictures hate going to work. especially the guy opening up the van loaded with cadavers... Sorry Mexico that you people have this to deal with. such a massive scale of dead bodies. i dont understan they were writing about how 24 thousand+ bodies were calculated, what about the 50/60+ thousand people attributed to the war since 2006 sometimes this reminds me of albuquerque, when they dug up 14 bodies layed side by side a few years back, what did they do at that site? built two houses over where they found those poor girls

Anonymous said...

And all this just because some wealthy people dont want drugs to be legal. I blaim JPMorgan, william Randolph herded, the DEA, man might as well say the whole dam company of the U.S they cant profit from giving free energy to the public. Thats why they.shut down tesla thats why they don't wana legalize cannabis and hemp. Cuz then the power would lie on the citizens of earth and not wall street

Anonymous said...

I don't see how the identities of the bodies buried in mass graves will ever be known. Mexico's federal and state governments are making every effort to cover up the enormity of the crimes that they have facilitated. I don't see what they are worried about. Even if the truth were to become known, no government bureaucrat, official or politician will ever be prosecuted, or even named. un vato

Anonymous said...

As sad as it is...Calderon is the last person to be blamed...he has had family members murdered and kept his resolve...put the blame where it should be...drug scum!

alayne said...

tks.tks.... usa... stay be happy...

Anonymous said...

24,000?? this has got to be only about a quarter of total unidentified deaths... Tamaulipas alone must have close to 10,000-15,000..

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say left their mark because the numbers were at least partially muted. They left their stain and many people weeping. Broheim, the bones in the elevator shoes picture was brutal.

Anonymous said...

If I didn't know any different I'd swear I was watching pictures from the holocaust, and this is supposed to be a civil country?. Mexico should be ashamed of itself.

Anonymous said...

The photos help to solidify the reality of the situation. To associate Pres. Calderon's name to these atrocities can only be seen as a positive effort to stop the growth of the narco cancer. May they be resting all in peace.

Anonymous said...

U play with dogs.....u will get fleas.....

"lito said...

this is not important..it is only Mexico...now if it was israel...or the middle east..it would matter...the jooish holocaust...now thats news...not this ...it is not like anything in Mexico affects the USA...just concentrate on Iran and Syria...CNN and the mass media will tell you what to think about..amirite??

Anonymous said...

Calderon's War??? People were getting killed by 2003 all over Tamp, Coah, N Leon. If fact the CDG had the Governors, State Cops, & Local Cops doing their dirty work, by then. People were losing their ranches, and Business. What was he suppose to do? It was Mexico's War!!!!, he just decided to do something about it.
GameDog!

Anonymous said...

"lito said...
The same old shit.
"this is not important..it is only Mexico,now if it was israel"
Oh shut up you fool,go and cry elsewhere.Who,s fault is it this time ? Oh yeah,Israels ? Issheright

Anonymous said...

im not ashamed of mexico im ashamed of the narco killers doing this .its like me sayn coloradans should be ashamed cuz of the movie theater shooter and the one that desmemberd the little girl.

Anonymous said...

Digan Lo Que digan Calderon tiene la culpa Que Mexico este valiendo verga.. there's no denial he made Chapo big... Yeah we know zetas have killed a lot of people , but come on like CDS hasn't?? Take calderon out the picture and it won't be long before Chapo falls... Mexican goverment is full of shit , there's more dead people than that bullshit number there giving..

Anonymous said...

If they would of let them work in peace this never wouldnt happened .not every 1 does drugs is a choise of our own they dnt make u buy drugs they jst sell them so why not let them do there thing all those ppl that u see in the pictures could b alive. So THANKS CALDERON u killed u own ppl

Anonymous said...

When did this happen? I haven't heard about it? I live in the EP/PN area. Glad to see your comment about all being the same, that is very true and I feel the same way. Glad to know there are others out there that think/feel the same way.

Anonymous said...

"its like me sayn coloradans should be ashamed cuz of the movie theater shooter and the one that desmemberd the little girl"
You fuckin fool,this is not about the US you brainless idiot,this is about all these people who we may never know who they were?Fuck off to BDL with your anti-US bullshit or go back to school and try and learn something more than bullshit nationalism.Sidetracked by assholes again?

Anonymous said...

"So THANKS CALDERON u killed u own ppl"
My god,i despair for Mexico with people like this?
Are they a lost cause,the more you see on here,the more you start to believe it.Unbelievable comments?
Maybe they are too insulated,glad i don't have to deal with them.

Anonymous said...

11:37 AM
Very constructive comment,very positive,great way to get response's from people,,,stay where you are fool.
"its like me saying you are a complete asshole"
You are whining again my friend,i must have missed it,but,,,what has the US got to do with this story again?

Anonymous said...

The CIA and the global bankers will always support mas genocide in fact they encourage it. They believe that the world is over populated and genocide and killings are the key to there plan of dominance! yal mothafuckas need to read and understand how things work

Anonymous said...

To the Guy upthere that mentioned 300,000 Two BIG thumbs up ! Thats right. It actually will end right about 450,000 killed and dissapeared. Unbelievable. Mr. Calderon is leaving a country soaked in blood. With a population living in fear of kidnappings, shootouts, etc. Since he came to power all hell broke loose what a shame. He also left as a legacy the destruction of labor laws and effectivelly left all mexican workers out of pensions, vacation, sick days, etc... effectively making the official minimum wage 1.53 dlls per hour only nationwide. That just happened last month. Of the almost 350,000 killed and 100,000 disappeared over 75,000 soldiers, cops and public servants had been killed on this war 150,000 sicarios and criminals had been killed, Over 100,000 bystanders, civilians and journalists had been killed are collateral damage. The State forces have been hurt bad and there is widespread morale crisis through the Mexican Army wich members are forbiden of releasing real figures on loses and casualties. The Mexican Government only states under a 1000 soldiers and federales killed in action a ridiculous statement that shows the irony of a country so currupt and decayed is a FAILED STATE ! We may had a Sandy Hurricane but the Calderon storm over there is 1000 times worst than any natural disaster we may encounter. God Bless The United States of America.

Anonymous said...

Calderon had to something yea it's sad for the innocent people thAt lost their lives. But at least he tried, not like all the other presidents that pretend everything is ok. The kidnappings and extortion has been going on forever it's just been hush hush. If you don't have nothing cash, property, cars, they leave you alone. And if you have a little something believe me they take it. The only difference it's front page now. And I think something big will happen this last month 1 or 2 big kingpins will go down.

Anonymous said...

A lot of these people were murdered under the fox administration and prior presidents and if it wasn't for calderons war nobody would ever of known how bad it really is.

Chivis said...

It is wrong and unfair to say that the 150k plus dead are on his head. My dos says the number would have been much greater had he not been agressive in his on the ground attacks. The shape of the war changed to include an escalated amount of smaller gangs and cartels wanting their piece of the pie. It is a very different narco war today than a decade ago.

What I was frustrated over and deeply disappointed by, was that in 4 election debates not one word was said about the war of the United States closest neighbor that has left over 100k dead and entrapped its society by terror. not one word.

That sucked.

Anonymous said...

You are a dumb mf no joke I said it was calderons foult cuz 1st the Mexican goverment started all this stealing from hard workin ppl. Now that they found a way to get alot more money, now they say is a problem.2nd no other president did anything about the narcotrafic cuz they knew what could of happen,all the cartels were about makin money of drug trafiking nothing else u dint hear no killings over drugs or terfs cuz they worked all together some of them did do bad shit but the mayority were find.Calderon desided to do this stupid war and now u see the aftermath of his stupidity. If you dnt see the big picture you are a dumb son of the gun

Anonymous said...

@ 4.55pm

Calderon must be nominated for sainthood for bringing so many deceased back to life.

Let's all Email the Pope.

Anonymous said...

No incorrect. The number would have been lower because he sent in the military to fight chapos enemies creating divisions and making more deaths. But just like moreira he was brought to power now he has to keep his share.

Anonymous said...

Your the dumbass calderon was the only president to do sumthing.but he did it wrong should have got rid of corrupt officials first then make a betyrr justice system.create more jobs..hire thousands of investigators than.g after the bad guys...he went after the bad guys first

Anonymous said...

In Mexico theres alot of crime not jst drug ttraficking before u saw all this killings and kidnapings it wasnt the cartels, if I remember there was kidnapers that dint work with cartels like the famus mocha orejas the dude had his own ppl, paid cops to do his derty work,is all ppl were worried about kidnapins not drug war

Anonymous said...

How was he going to get rid of corruption when he himself got into the presidency through corruption and crime money

Anonymous said...

Darn, I just lost my count!! Now I have to start over on counting. I, 2, 3, 4...........

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