By Chris Covert
Less than 30 percent of victims found in Durango's mass graves have been identified, according to Mexican news accounts.
|Fiscalia de la Garza Fragoso|
A news report posted on the website of El Siglo de Durango news daily, Durango state Fiscalia General del Estado (FGE) or attorney general, Sonia Yadira de la Garza Fragoso, released information that since the final report on the mass graves in Durango state in March, 2012, 100 bodies have been identified by family members, and then returned to them.
Starting in mid 2011, 331 total dead were found in a series of mass graves discovered in Durango state, primarily in Durango city, the capital. Other sites found were as far away as Gomez Palacio in the extreme western part of the state around the La Laguna area and in Santiago Papasquiaro municipality in the north.
Late July another nine dead were found in Cristobal Colon sector of Durango city, bringing the total to 340 dead.
Many of the victims had been killed as far back as 2007, and 77 percent of those had been strangled or asphyxiated, mainly by being buried alive.
de la Garza Fragoso said relatives such as grandparents and cousins were providing DNA samples to help with identification, a much less accurate means of determining the identity of the victims. Some remains, however, are so decomposed that DNA samples are impossible to obtain, so, according to de la Garza Fragoso, other means are being used.
The mass graves in Durango are cumulatively the worst mass grave find in the Mexican Drug War to date. That said, those murders occurred over a six year period. The mass murders and graves in San Fernando municipality in Tamaulipas state are by far the worst mass grave in the Mexican Drug War to date, standing at 193 dead. Those deaths took place between August 2010 and May 2011.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com