What appears to be a killing field used by a Mexican drug cartel has been discovered just south of Mexico’s border with Texas.
“The characteristics of the place allow the inference that it is an extermination site that has been used for years and until very recently, which will have to be confirmed by experts,” said a statement by Mexico’s National Search Commission, according to the Associated Press.
“This is the first site of these dimensions found in Nuevo Laredo,” the statement said.
The area is near the Nuevo Laredo-Monterrey highway, which has been the site of numerous “disappearances since 2012,” the commission said.
Gladys Cristina Perez Sanchez, 39, was traveling with her 16-year-old son, Juan Carlos Gonzales, and her nine-year-old daughter, Cristina Duran when they disappeared.
The three had been returning to Laredo, Texas, after visiting a sick relative in Sabinas Hidalgo.
Israel Garza, a relative of the family, said cartel gunmen had been stopping travelers along the highway, with reports of at least 71 people who have gone missing along this highway in recent months.
The FBI sought information about the missing family, according to Spectrum Local News.
Officials in Mexico say they have found an apparent long-running “extermination site” outside the northern border city of Nuevo Laredo, near the border with Texas. https://t.co/0LyQ8khMUs pic.twitter.com/My2hkjwaXa
— CBSDFW (@CBSDFW) September 30, 2021
Karla Quintana, the head of the Mexican National Search Commission, said a “clandestine crematorium of considerable size” was found along with charred bone fragments, according to the AP.
Quintana said the facility had been set up many years ago but showed signs of recent use.
“The characteristics of the place allow the inference that it is an extermination site that has been used for years and until very recently, which will have to be confirmed by experts,” the commission said, according to the News & Observer.
Angelica Orozco, of the group United Forces for Our Disappear, which includes families of those who went missing, said it was “very worrisome for us that the commission has come out with such alarmist statements without informing us.”
The group said, “these statements totally re-victimize, and cause anguish and torture for the relatives of the disappeared,” because many assume the bodies of their family members may have been burned after death.
Quintana has said that turf battles between cartels could be linked to the disappearances, according to the AP.
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