Ronaldo Schemidt / AFP - Getty Images
Mexican police officers stand guard at a park in Tlalmanalco, about 18 miles southeast of Mexico City, on Thursday after the discovery of a mass grave.
A mass grave found at a rural ranch in Mexico contains at least some of 12 young people who vanished from a bar in an upscale area of Mexico City, according to reports.
They are believed to have been abducted from the Heaven club in May by drug cartel members in an incident that shocked the country. Their families have said they were not involved in drug trafficking.
Most were in their 20s, but the youngest was only 16.
The mass grave was found in the town of Tlalmanalco on Wednesday after a tip-off about arms trafficking, Mexico’s Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam told The New York Times.
Henry Romero / Reuters
Relatives of the 12 missing people attend a news conference revealing the discovery of seven bodies in the grave.
Mexican authorities said 13 badly decomposed bodies have been pulled from the mass grave, which was covered in cement, quicklime and asbestos, The Associated Press reported on Friday.
Mexico's Assistant Attorney General Renato Sales said one victim, Alan Omar Athiencia, 26, had been positively identified through genetic testing and also said there was "sufficient evidence" to identify two other men and two women.
Sara Monica Medina, the head of the federal forensics office, told the AP that the bodies of the other four — Gabriela Ruiz Martinez, Rafael Rojo Martinez, Guadalupe Morales Vargas, and Josue Piedra Moreno — had been identified from implants, tattoos and other physical characteristics. More tests were pending.
A pistol, a shotgun and several pairs of handcuffs were also discovered by investigators who searched a home on the ranch where the mass grave was found.
Maria Teresa Ramos, grandmother of one of the vanished young people, Jerzy Ortiz, told Milenio television: “We have had three months with this anxiety. We are dying every day, little by little,” the Times reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
First published August 23 2013, 5:31 PM