MEXICO CITY (AP) — After dogs were seen nibbling at human body parts, activists in western Mexico demanded Friday that authorities keep digging at what appears to be a clandestine burial site.
A group representing families of some of Mexico’s more than 112,000 missing people said they were concerned police would leave the site on the outskirts of the city of Guadalajara due to a long holiday weekend.
The site had already been disturbed by dogs, and there were fears more evidence could be lost.
The Light of Hope is a volunteer search group that represents families of missing people in the western state of Jalisco. The group said 41 bags of human remains had been recovered at the site, which was discovered earlier this month after dogs were seen trotting off with a human leg and a skull.
“It is outrageous that the authorities, who can’t keep pace, take the weekends and holidays off and don’t work extra shifts to continue with this investigation,” the group said in a statement.
Officials have not commented on how many bodies the bags may contain.
Guadalajara has long suffered from turf battles between factions of the Jalisco cartel, and hundreds of bodies have been dumped at clandestine sites there.
Drug cartels often put the bodies of executed rivals or kidnapping victims in plastic bags and toss them into shallow pits.
Dogs or wild animals can disturb the remains and destroy fragile pieces of evidence such as tattoos, clothing fragments and fingerprints that can help identify victims.
Animals have led authorities to bodies before in Mexico.
Last November, police in the southern state of Oaxaca found a dismembered human body after spotting a dog running down the street with a human arm in its mouth The discovery led investigators to find other parts of the dismembered body in a neighborhood on the outskirts of Oaxaca city, the state capital.
Days earlier, clandestine graves holding human remains were found in the central state of Guanajuato after neighbors reported to volunteer searchers that they had seen a dog with a human leg.
Weeks before, residents of a town in the north-central state of Zacatecas saw a dog running down the street with a human head in its mouth. Police eventually managed to wrest the head away from the dog.
In that case, the head and other body parts had been left in an automatic teller booth in the town of Monte Escobedo alongside a message referring to a drug cartel.
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