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Mexico violence: Remains of 166 found in Veracruz mass grave

The skulls of at least 166 people have been found in a mass grave in Mexico’s eastern state of Veracruz. State prosecutor Jorge Winckler said the skulls and other human remains had been there for at least two years.

Mexican security forces have been battling drug cartels for years
Mexican security forces have been battling drug cartels for years

The exact location is not being disclosed for security reasons, he added.

Drug traffickers have used Veracruz as a dumping ground for their victims for many years. In March 2017, 250 skulls were found in another mass grave there.

Mr Winckler told reporters that investigators had also found about 200 items of clothing, more than 100 identity cards and other personal belongings. Officials are focusing on the skulls to work out the exact number of victims.

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Drones and ground-penetrating radar are helping to locate the remains and forensic experts are still working at the scene, officials added.

Mr Winckler could not rule out finding more victims.

Relatives of people who have disappeared in Mexico have long been campaigning for more to be done to help them find their loved ones.

Drug-related violence in Mexico has soared since 2006 when the army was deployed to fight the powerful cartels. Since then more than 200,000 people have been killed, including a record 28,702 last year.

Another 37,000 people are registered as missing. Victims include cartel members but also migrants heading to the US who refuse to be recruited. BBC News