Mexican police find 23 bodies in pits near thermal springs

July 12, 2022 GMT

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Prosecutors in western Mexico said they have located 23 sets of skeletal remains in a lakeside community known for its highly acidic hot springs and mud pits.

The prosecutors office in Michoacan said only eight of the bodies had been identified, mainly by clothing or dental records.

The rest of the bodies were so badly deteriorated that DNA testing might be necessary, the office said Sunday.

It is unclear if criminals intentionally dumped the bodies in the area known as Los Negritos — after the black mud facial masks popular there — so they would disappear more quickly.

The area is near the town of La Barca, where authorities in 2013 found more than five dozen bodies in mass graves linked to the Jalisco cartel.

Drug cartels in Mexico frequently using clandestine burial pits to dispose of the bodies of kidnapping victims or rivals. Mexico currently has more than 100,000 people listed as missing.