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Usa News

6 women missing in Mexico were killed, burned


MEXICO CITY — Mexican prosecutors confirmed Friday that six women who went missing on March 7 were killed and their bodies burned by a gang of gunmen.

It was one of the biggest collective murders of a group of women in recent years in Mexico.

The women disappeared earlier this month on a road near the town of Celaya in the agricultural and industrial state of Guanajuato. Relatives had hoped that they could be found alive.

But District Attorney Carlos Zamarripa said on Friday that experts had found skeletal remains “almost completely burnt” during searches of several properties on Thursday. The amount of bone fragments found – Zamarripa said there were “hundreds” – suggests the women’s bodies were burned and the bones were crushed and scattered, a common drug cartel tactic.

“They took the six women to Juventino Rosas, where they then killed them,” Zamarripa said. He said the motive for the killings was still under investigation.

DNA tests matched five of the missing women, and more tests were underway.

Nearly two dozen firearms, explosives and thousands of drug doses were also found at the properties, he said. The plastic-wrapped body of a kidnapped man was also found at one of the properties.

Zamarripa said 14 men were arrested in connection with this and other killings. At least five of the suspects were from the northern border state of Tamaulipas, and one of them was a Honduran.

Tamaulipas is split between the Gulf Cartel and the Northeast Cartel. It was unclear what either group would do in Guanajuato, which lies hundreds of miles to the south.

Authorities had issued search warrants for the six women on March 9 and had said for more than a week that they hoped to find them alive.

For years, the industrial and agricultural hub of Guanajuato has been Mexico’s most violent state, with the Jalisco Cartel waging a turf war there against local gangs, including the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel, which is apparently backed by the much larger Sinaloa Cartel.

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