Authorities in Mexico discover 166 bodies at a mass grave site

Grim reminder of cartel violence Mass grave with 168 skulls found in Mexico

Mexican Police Find Mass Grave with 166 Skulls Possibly Linked to Cartel War

An informer told authorities that hundreds of people in all were buried at the site, the state prosecutor's office said in a statement.

The Attorney General for Veracruz Jorge Winckler spoke during a news conference late this week that the grave had been discovered after a witness had tipped off the authorities approximately a month ago.

State attorney general Jorge Winckler told a news conference investigators discovered the bodies in 32 graves in the central part of the state after an August 8 tip from an unidentified person that they had been dumped there.

Mexico's National Human Rights Commission says the discovery of 166 bodies in a field in Veracruz state brings to 696 the total number of corpses found in mass graves since the beginning of 2017.

Investigating officers also confirmed that over 200 articles of clothing, 144 ID cards and other personal belongings have been recovered from the scene.

There were more than 30,000 murders across Mexico past year, the highest since 1997, as rival drug gangs splintered into smaller, more blood-thirsty groups following the decade long military-led campaign to battle the cartels. The exact location of the most recent pit is not being disclosed for security reasons.

The bodies have been buried two or more years, said authorities. Investigators located the remains with drones and radar.

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They released photographs of investigators combing through the thick vegetation at the site, wearing white protective suits and gloves.

Winckler did not rule out finding more bodies.

Two former state police chiefs and a string of ex-officials have been charged with running hit squads that abducted and presumably killed unwanted individuals during Duarte's administration, from 2010 to 2016.

Duarte is in jail awaiting trial on allegations of involvement with organised crime and siphoning off millions of dollars during his tenure. "These forced disappearances were not only carried out with his knowledge, but under his orders", they said in June.

In March past year Winckler announced the discovery of more than 250 skulls in unmarked graves in the state.

Another 37,000 people are reported as missing.

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