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

Monday, August 28, 2023

11 Bodies Discovered in Chihuahua Mass Grave; Investigators Suggest Victims Could Be Migrants

"Morogris" for Borderland Beat

State investigators conducting excavation work at Coyame de Sotol, Chihuahua

Three days after the start of the initial excavations at the clandestine graves discovered in the municipality of Coyame, Chihuahua, a total of 11 bodies have been located. Authorities suggest that these bodies may belong to the migrants who went missing in 2021.

On September 25, 2021, thirteen migrants—ten men from Chihuahua, and three others from Querétaro, the State of Mexico, and Durango—aged between 22 and 55, vanished near Coyame while pursuing the "American Dream."

The abduction occurred on the Coyame-Ojinaga highway en route to the United States.

Local authorities had conducted numerous search operations in the region. However, after two years, the investigations led to the discovery of a property in the community of El Mimbre, situated approximately an hour and a half from the capital, near the highway leading to Coyame.

Upon reaching the location, they observed land subsidence and alterations, which served as indications to initiate excavations at locations identified by a pair of K-9 dogs.

This past Saturday, in the latest update, the Chihuahua State Attorney General's Office (FGE) announced the successful recovery of four bodies. These remains have been sent to the Directorate of Forensic Expert Services for the necessary identification procedures. 

Simultaneously, efforts persist in the endeavor to extract seven additional bodies found within the grave, thus summing up to a total of 11 individuals discovered.

Nothing is known of the migrants who went missing on 25 September 2021

During a press conference held yesterday, the State Attorney General, César Jáuregui Moreno, emphasized that numerous factors strongly suggest that the recovered remains pertain to the migrants who went missing in September 2021—a group, he emphasized, that was actively sought. Nonetheless, he highlighted that conclusive certainty will be obtained through comprehensive DNA tests.

The abducted migrants from Chihuahua were José Luis Pallares, aged 47; Javier Ricardo López Rodríguez, aged 38; Amador Aguilar Mendoza, aged 55; Emmanuel Aguilar Bailón, aged 24; Lorenzo Abraham González Mendoza, aged 39; Benigno Alberto Álvarez Castro, aged 36; Luis Carlos Islas Villegas, aged 30; Alán Ricardo Salas Torres, aged 22; and Daniel Villa Rascón.

Elías Girón Mateo, aged 31, a resident of the State of Mexico, and Rodolfo Guzmán González, aged 32, originally from the city of Santiago de Queretaro, have also been identified. Additionally, two men aged 33 and 37, whose relatives have requested authorities to withhold their identities for security reasons, were among those kidnapped.

In contrast to other migrant kidnapping instances in Mexico, this specific case has drawn attention from the highest echelons of the Mexican government. The case was discussed during a Senate session last year, and numerous international human rights organizations have also highlighted its significance. These organizations are urging authorities to intensify their search efforts.

Investigators have been unable to identify the cartel responsible for this mass kidnapping. However, they that the groups were likely the Sinaloa Cartel or La Línea, who compete for control of the human smuggling market in Chihuahua. 

Sergio Menchaca Pizarro, also known as "El Menchaca," the key operative of La Linea in the Ojinaga and Coyame region, was arrested earlier this month after he surrended to US authorities at the border. It was rumored that he provided valuable information on the whereabouts of some of the mass graves in Chihuahua.

2023/2022 Sources: Reforma; Diario de Juarez (1); (2); (3); (4)Norte Digital; Borderland Beat archives

2021 Sources: Diario de Chihuahua


  1. Menchaca had to give up something

  2. that’s messed up if they were migrants. Some one is starting to act like zetas, back when they started to do those lowlifes shiit to innocent migrants.

    1. Linea are pieces of shit. I mean so is cds

  3. RIP, for sure…. Just innocents trying to better their world…. The murderers will pay some day…

  4. The last paragraph suggests a connection between Menchaca's surrender and the graves being found. Am I understanding that right?

    1. Yes Sherlock 🧠🧠🧠

    2. The men in the photographs aren't migrants.

    3. Thanks Watson @7:16 always like to be sure


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