Mexico police find 61 bodies

2015-02-07 07:35
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Acapulco - Mexican police have found 61 bodies, including children, in an abandoned crematorium that closed more than a year ago in the Pacific resort of Acapulco, authorities said on Friday.

"We are working on identifying how many children, women and men" were in the building, Guerrero state chief prosecutor Miguel Angel Godinez said, without giving details about the cause of death.

Acapulco has been beset by drug gang violence but it was not immediately clear whether the bodies were murder victims dumped by a gang, or whether the crematorium's operators left corpses there when the facility closed down.

"We can't say for now that there is an indication that organised crime participated in this, but we can't rule it out," Godinez told Radio Formula.

Forensic experts and investigators are seeking to determine how long the bodies, which were discovered late on Thursday, were left in the building, which has a sign reading "Cremations of the Pacific."

The prosecutor said authorities may carry out arrests but he declined to give more details.

The bodies were covered in white sheets that were brown from what appeared to be fluid from the decomposing corpses. Some corpses were piled on top of each other.

Lime was scattered on the bodies and around the crematorium in an apparent bid to mask the smell, but police were called by neighbours after they complained about the stench from rotting bodies.

A high-ranking state police official, who requested anonymity, said the bodies were in an advanced state of decay and that the building had been abandoned more than a year ago.

Around 20 security forces were guarding the crematorium early on Friday.

Unbearable

Neighbours said they complained about the stench two days ago.

Local residents, who asked to remain anonymous, said they never noticed any unusual activity in the building and never saw any suspicious people in the area.

"We called [the emergency number] 066 because the smell became unbearable," said one neighbour. "Everything is calm here. I didn't know the crematorium was closed but we hadn't seen people go in and out."

Acapulco was once a favourite haunt of Hollywood stars, but the city has lost its flair over the years, while feuding drug gangs have turned it into one of Mexico's most violent places.

The port is in Guerrero state, where authorities say 43 college students were abducted by corrupt police and handed over to the Guerreros Unidos drug gang, whose henchmen killed and incinerated the victims.

The aspiring teachers, all young men, vanished on September 26 in the city of Iguala.

The Iguala case has sparked protests and turned into the biggest challenge of President Enrique Pena Nieto's two-year-old administration.

Read more on:    mexico

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