Six women who disappeared on March 7 in central Mexico were killed and burned by a group of armed men, authorities confirmed Friday.
This is one of the largest collective homicides of women in the country in recent years.
They disappeared this month on a road near the city of Celaya, in the agricultural and industrial state of Guanajuato. Authorities released wanted notices for the six women on March 9, and had said for more than a week that they were confident of finding them alive. Their families held out hope that this would be the case.
But Guanajuato’s attorney general, Carlos Zamarripa, said Friday that Experts had found skeletal remains that showed that the women were “almost completely burned” after the operations carried out on Thursday in various properties. The number of bone fragments found —which according to Zamarripa were “hundreds”— suggests that the corpses were burned and the bones crushed and scattered, a common strategy among groups of the drug trafficking.
“They transferred them to (the city of) Juventino Rosas, to a place, where they were ultimately deprived of their lives,” said the prosecutor. He noted that the causes of these homicides remain under investigation. Five genetic profiles corresponding to the disappeared were identified, and the proceedings to identify the sixth victim continue, he added.
In addition, nearly two dozen weapons, explosives and thousands of doses of drugs were found on the properties, he said. The body of a kidnapped male victim wrapped in plastic was also found at one of the properties.
Zamarripa noted that 14 men were arrested in connection with these and other homicides. At least five of the detainees were from the northern state of Tamaulipas and one was from Honduras.
In Tamaulipas, the Gulf Cartel and the Northeast Cartel are active. It is unknown what any of these groups would be doing in Guanajuato, which is located hundreds of kilometers to the south.
For years, Guanajuato has been the most violent state in Mexico and the scene of a war in which the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel disputes the control of territories with various local criminal groups, including the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel, which reportedly has support from the much larger Sinaloa Cartel.
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