Charred remains of 14 people found in Mexican village

February 15th, 2009 - 2:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Monterrey (Mexico), Feb 15 (IANS) Remains of at least 14 people, including two teenagers, have been discovered in Mexico’s northern state of Coahuila, said officials who blamed the drug cartels for the massacre, EFE reported.

Prosecutors in Coahuila said the charred remains of at least 14-16 people were found in a field in the rural area of San Jose de la Rioja near the town of Arteaga.

The forensics experts collected the remains, discovered by the army, for examination, the state prosecutor’s office said.

Authorities said the exact body count was not immediately known since they were spread in at least eight graves in the area.

Eleven containers, punctured by sharp objects, were also found at the site, presumably used by the drug traffickers to dissolve the human remains in acid, the report said Saturday.

The investigators have also found documents belonging to some of the victims, various firearm cartridges, as well as eight pairs of handcuffs, at the crime scene.

In 2007, armed groups linked to drug cartels have killed at least 2,700 people in the country. In the previous year, at least 1,500 people have been killed, and in 2008 at least 5,630 people were killed, according to the daily El Universal newspaper.

In 2009, at least 750 people have been already killed in drug-related violence in the country, media reports said.

Since taking office in 2006, President Felipe Calderon has deployed federal police and soldiers across the country in a crackdown on drug gangs battling for control of the supply routes to the US.

However, measures to stamp out drug related violence from the country have remained largely unsuccessful due to the high levels of corruption in the law enforcing departments in the country.

Recently, unknown gunmen have shot dead the head of Nuevo Leon state police’s homicide unit. The state has been the hardest hit in the violence.

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