53 bags of human remains discovered at international arts festival after dog spotted with human hand in its mouth

23 November 2022, 15:38

A mass grave has been discovered in Mexico
A mass grave has been discovered in Mexico. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

Police have discovered 53 bags stuffed full of human remains at an international arts festival in Mexico, after launching a search when a dog was found with a human hand in its mouth.

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Cops found the mass grave at the Cervantino event in Irapuato in the Guanajuato state, which is about 170 miles northwest of Mexico City.

The grisly discovery came after a dog ran past carrying a human hand.

Bibian Mendoza, the founder of a women's group looking for missing family members, said she had come to look for her brother after hearing reports of the dog.

People search for missing relatives
People search for missing relatives. Picture: Getty

She said: "While people from all over the world were celebrating the Cervantino festival, an international arts festival in the area, we were digging up bodies.

"At the same time, I thought it was useless because they were burying more people elsewhere."

The remains were first found in October, and officers are still analysing them to work out who they belonged to.

Bibian's brother has not been found so far.

Officers protecting people looking for their missing relatives
Officers protecting people looking for their missing relatives. Picture: Getty

Guanajuato has a shockingly high murder rate, one of the highest in Mexico. Some 2,400 people have been murdered between January and September this year, with a further 3,000 going missing, in a state with a population of about 6.2 million.

For context, only 591 people were murdered in the whole of the UK from April 2020-March 2021, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The Guanajuato murder rate is largely down to the violent drugs cartels battling for control of the cocaine and fentanyl trades, as well as the theft of fuel, amid spiralling prices.

A woman looking for missing relatives
A woman looking for missing relatives. Picture: Getty

Several people were killed at a shootout in a bar at Apaseo el Alto in the state on November 9. Just on Sunday several cartel members were shot dead in a fight with officers at a police station.

The US state department said in a travel advisory note in October: "Gang violence, often associated with the theft of petroleum and natural gas from the state oil company and other suppliers, occurs in Guanajuato, primarily in the south and central areas of the state.

23 dead and dozens injured as metro overpass collapses in Mexico City

"Of particular concern is the high number of murders in the southern region of the state associated with cartel-related violence."

The latest gruesome discovery comes after a dog was seen carrying a decapitated head in its mouth in the central Mexican state of Zacatecas.

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