Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

17 Bodies Exhumed From Clandestine Grave in Aquiles Serdán, Chihuahua

"Morogris" for Borderland Beat

The bodies were dumped by cartel members in a mine hole. This has caused a lot of complications in the bodies' retrieval.

The skeletal remains located in the Santo Domingo mine shaft, in Aquiles Serdan, Chihuahua, correspond to at least 17 people, State Attorney General César Augusto Peniche confirmed.

Peniche said the above after almost a year of discovering the clandestine grave. Back in July 2020, he released the names of 12 people who he believed were among the victims.

The death toll rose to 17 this weekend after investigators from Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF) helped Chihuahua authorities in the search. The EAAF believes there are up to 20 bodies in this location.

During his press conference, Peniche said that cartel members bumped the bodies in a mineshaft (tiro de mina) that was at least 200 m deep. This made the discovery of the bodies very difficult, he said.

Of the 17 bodies found, only 4 have been given back to their respective family members.

The following bodies have been identified as:

  1. Emily Izamara Díaz Morales
  2. Pablo Roberto Martínez Moreno
  3. Adrián Omar Aldaz Álvarez
  4. Martín Refugio Piñón de Luna
  5. Ever Iván Muruato Lozoya
  6. José Antonio Maldonado Payán
  7. Jorge Gutiérrez Trujillo
  8. Antonio Mendoza Leal
  9. Javier Beltrán Sánchez
  10. Jaquelin Almader Carrasco
  11. Luis Martín Perea López
  12. Gloria Ivannia Perea Prieto

Relatives of the victims denounce not only the fact that the remains have not been handed over to them, but also the doubts they have regarding the identity of their children and the long delays.

A large crew is needed to retrieve the bodies

"They gave me remains from the waist down."

René Muruato, father of Ever Iván Muruato Lozoya, points out that the investigation remains at the same point like in the beginning: no progress. He explains that investigators only gave him Ever's body from the waist down.

However, he questioned the findings when investigators later gave him a foot that was wearing one of the sandals Ever was wearing. Ever's father had already been given two feet remains.

"I started to doubt … how is it possible that they gave me the entire body from the waist down first, and then they come back and give me another foot, claiming it is Ever's?", he asked.

Another of the inconsistencies that the families found was the clothing that the investigators have shown as evidence. The families say that the remains they were given all have the same garments. In addition, despite the fact that some of those garments still had fat in their fabric, no DNA examinations were conducted.

"My life changed completely"

Teresa Payan, mother of Antonio Maldonado Payan, says investigators gave her the bodies of her son. However, she was not allowed to see the remains and was only able to bury them. She said she was not given pictures that proved the remains were those of her son.

"My son disappeared on 14 July 2019 and his body was supposedly found along with Ivannia's. But they gave me the body months and did not let me see it. There are also no pictures in my son's file. How can I be sure it is my son?", she said.

Teresa explained that after her son went missing, she suffered an accident and was physically unable to attend the prosecutor's office to inquire about her son.

"I was unable to walk for four months. When I finally made it to the prosecutor's office, investigators gave me the remains. My daughter asked them to provide evidence showing it was Antonio, but they refused. They are very rude in the prosecutor's office and they never give us an answer. We don't know what they are hiding or what they don't want us to know. My life changed completely because I'm not sure if I even buried my own son".

Sources: El Diario de Chihuahua


  1. Is it that the prosecutor's office gives them a body so that the search will stop? Because the prosecutor's office knows damn well its a huge gravesite. Done in complicity with government/cartel.

  2. #2 and #9 on the list are the same name...same person or 2 different peoe with the same name?

    1. Good catch. The cited source has the list like that. I found an old source from June 2020 (when the grave was first found) that has the list at 12 so no duplicate. His full name is Pablo Roberto Martínez Moreno.

      I've amended the article. Thank you!

  3. just outside of chihuahua city. Delicias, Camargo, Parral, etc. important places for production/transfer. From chihuahua city, you have several choices northward, or westward on the Copper Canyon train though Creel down to Uribe. In harm's way unless you stay on the train be back at dark and don't wander down trails that are game or narco trails. Those that disappear are found in these body cisterns. Didn't have a chance, along with those chaos that shone their lights in these dark places, Copper Canyon Train Ride, well worth the ride. Great scenery and off-limits to cartel attacking cartels. Don't shine the light or get off on a hidden path.

  4. Linea dumping site forsure im thinking ppl that were selling crystal in south Chihuahua city

  5. I have a hard time thinking that all of them were involved with drugs... i wonder why they were taken. but i guess thats why authorities are also very indifferent to families of the disappeared. they just assume they were criminals. truly sad

  6. Trust me alot of people that are killed have nothing to do with drugs mistaken idenity jealousy theft wrong place at the wrong time kidnapping for rasom right now its very high due to the meth trade narco menudeo the street sell of meth the cartels are very fractured theres many groups fighting mostly for street level sales the heavy trade people dont even get into that mess its a whole other story.Its nothing like back then when there was a boss and only his guys had heavy weapons only he had protection for the sell spots there was no meth at all only coke the street gangs had hardly any pull in the trade they were not given weapons a hit man was paid very well only heavy traffickers were gunned down mostly for drug debts the people involved mostly sent there product north.


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