Mexico: Marines find 72 corpses

MEXICO CITY, Mexico –The 72 corpses discovered at a ranch in the state of Tamaulipas could be those of a group of illegal immigrants who were killed by members of the Los Zetas drug cartel, Mexican government officials said. The initial investigation reported the deceased were from El Salvador, Honduras, Ecuador and Brazil and were trying to enter the United States. The marines found the bodies based on a tip from a survivor of the mass killing who said the group was kidnapped by Los Zetas on their journey to the U.S., Attorney General’s Office spokesman Ricardo Najera said at a media conference. Najera said the countries whose nationals were slain have been contacted so they can be involved in the identification process. The survivor, an Ecuadoran, is being treated for a gunshot to the throat. Marines discovered the corpses of the 58 men and 14 women a day after an Aug. 23 gunfight in the community of San Fernando during which a marine and three gunmen were killed. The cartels “are resorting to extortion and kidnapping of migrants for their financing and also for recruitment because they are having a hard time obtaining resources and people,” Mexican President Felipe Calderón said in a statement. [EFE (Mexico), 26/08/2010; The Associated Press (Mexico), 26/08/2010]

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