Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Showing posts with label mass graves. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mass graves. Show all posts

Durango state attorney general says she pulled security detail

Monday, April 16, 2012 |

By Chris Covert

The Durango state Fiscalia General del Estado (FGE) or attorney general told an assembly of the state Chamber of Deputies that she takes responsibility for pulling the security detail only hours before her predecessor was kidnapped and murdered, according to Mexican news accounts.

Sonia Yadira de la Garza Fragoso

Sonia Yadira de la Garza Fragoso appeared last Friday before a session of the Durango state Chamber of Deputies to give a report on her department following what she says is a final account of one of the worst mass graves in modern Mexican history.

Her predecessor, Ramiro Ortiz Aguirre, was kidnapped last March 28th near a shopping center in Durango city, and was later found shot to death near the village of Estacion El Chorro.
Click here to read the Borderland Beat story on the abduction and murder of Ramiro Ortiz Aguirre
News accounts at the time of the discovery of the body mentioned Ortiz Aguirre's personal state provided security detail had been mysteriously pulled only hours before he was abducted and later murdered.  Those accounts failed to mention how or why the detail had been pulled.

In her presentation to Durango legislators, she did not elaborate her reasons for pulling the detail and stopped short of saying she personally ordered it pulled.
Ramiro Ortiz Aguirre

It was during the term of Ortiz Aguirre in April 2011, when the first of 331 dead were exhumed mostly around Durango city, but he resigned in June 2011 before he completed his concurrent term.

As exhumations continued throughout 2011 with the help of Mexican federal security forces, mainly Mexican Army units.  The exhumations were completed last January 2012.

In her presentation, Yadira de la Garza Fragoso broke down the grim  statistics of the mass graves.
  • 331 individuals were found in total.
  • Of those, 303 were male, 22 were female, and the rest were unidentifiable.
  • Of the 13 graves uncovered, eight were found in Durango city totalling 301 dead.  This total eclipses by 108 dead the mass graves uncovered in San Fernando municipality in Nuevo Leon the same spring-summer of 2011.
  • In Lerdo municipality two mass graves were uncovered with a total of 10 dead, six of whom have already been identified. Seven suspects were detained in connection with those dead.
  • In San Juan del Rio municipality nine dead were also found, one whom was identified.
  • In Santiago Papasquiaro municipality eight dead were found, but none were identified.
  • In Cuencame municipality three dead were found.  Three suspects have been detained in connection with that grave.
  • 258 were killed by strangulation
  • 17 were killed by gunshot.
  • 15 were killed by suffocation.
  • Seven were beaten to death.
  • 34 died from indeterminate causes.
Yadira de la Garza Fragoso also told legislators that the difference between national crime statistics and the state's were more than 1,000 murders were committed in Durango state, instead of 600.

Chris Covert writes Mexican Dug War and national political news for

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10 more dead found in mass graves in Durango

Monday, February 27, 2012 |

By Chris Covert

Ten more dead bodies have been discovered in Durango municipality, Durango, according to Mexican news accounts.

According to Durango Fiscalia General del Estado, Sonia Yadira Fragoso de la Garza, further exhumations were in the village of Cristobal Colon in Durango municipality after ten were discovered last December, 2011.  The total discovered in that area is 50.

Durango FGE Sonia Yadira Fragoso
The Durango mass graves most of which are concentrated in Durango municipality, are the worst mass graves in Mexico.  Discovery of the bodies began in April of 2011, and have since risen to 290 until last December, 2011.  The new discoveries could raises that toll to 300 dead.

Proceso has reports the total exhumation is 322, going by official counts.

Yadira Fragoso is quoted saying no other graves are expected to be found.

A similar mass grave find was made in Tamaulipas last summer, where authorities found graves with 193 individuals who were killed during a terror campaign by a Los Zetas armed group operating out of San Fernando municipality in Tamaulipas.  Between July, 2010 and when those graves were found in April, 2011, the San Fernando Los Zetas group  hijacked buses and abused and killed passengers, reportedly as part of a recruiting drive.

The original discovery in Durango was made from an apparent interrogation of a detainee, who led authorities to the first of four grave sites in Durango municipality.  Graves have been found as far away as the La Laguna region in far eastern Durango near the border with Coahuila state.

Many of the dead were not shot, but had been killed by various means.  Some of the dead were killed as long ago as 2005, well before the late 2006 start of Mexican president Felipe Calderon's war on the drug cartels.

According to previous news reports of the 300 dead found to date only, 37 have been claimed by relatives.

Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for

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