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Saga of truck filled with bodies of homicide victims sparks scandal in Mexico

Saga of truck filled with bodies of homicide victims sparks scandal in Mexico

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.

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.

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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.

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 […]