In Mexico, officials and citizens routinely announce the discoveries of clandestine graves baring skeletal remains from the gang violence that has convulsed the country for years.
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The official count of the “disappeared” nationwide exceeds 30,000, and relatives of the legions of missing call that a low-ball estimate.
But the macabre saga of a roving government-contracted truck ferrying the corpses of scores of apparent murder victims from one town to the next in western Jalisco state has added a bizarre new twist to Mexico’s violent narrative.
The episode has become a major embarrassment for Jalisco authorities, who have been in a blame-shifting mode since word emerged last weekend, in the midst of national Independence Day celebrations.
Some social-media denizens have dubbed the body-filled trailer the “mobile pit,” after the many fosas , or pits, that regularly turn up with human remains.
Behind the episode of the itinerant truck and its gruesome cargo was a basic storage problem: Authorities in violence-plagued Jalisco say they have run out of space to put the ever-escalating numbers of unclaimed victims of violence. Current law bans cremation of the unclaimed bodies.
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Consequently, officials opted to store the reported remains of more than 150 people in a refrigerated semi-trailer that in recent days was parked in various towns — angering residents who complained about fetid odors, dripping blood and gathering swarms of flies.“The smell was horrible,” a woman holding her baby girl told Telemundo in the town of Tlajomulco de Zuniga, one of the places where the semi-trailer was parked, in a […]