More than 3,000 secret graves containing victims of Mexico’s raging drug wars have been found across the country, according to the first ever official tally of the phenomenon.
A total of 4,874 bodies were found at 3,025 sites, and many of the victims have yet to be identified, said Karla Quintana, the head of the National Search Committee, which was set up last year to help desperate families find relatives who have gone missing.
“This is the data of horror,” she said at a press conference on Friday. “This is not about the numbers. This is about the thousands of people who are looking for the relatives and the thousands not in their homes.”
Disappearances have become common amid the extreme violence triggered by a counterproductive military offensive against organized criminal groups originally launched in 2006.
More than 200,000 people have died since then, with the number of missing estimated at 40,000 – though the data is notoriously sketchy because of the reluctance of successive governments to recognize the gravity of the problem.
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