Cartels turning Mexico ‘into medieval state’ as graves of mutilated bodies found

Mexico is descending into a "medieval" state with mass graves constantly being uncovered, according to a cartel expert.

Forensic experts are studying remains found in the Chihuahua desert last week that they believe could be connected to a group of 13 migrants who went missing two years ago.

But, as expert Ioan Grillo revealed, that barely touches the surfaces on the huge burial sites appearing across the country.

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Thousands of disappearances have been reported in the Central American country, and most of them have been blamed on a bloody war between rival drugs cartels.

He told podcaster Shawn Ryan how 297 skulls were recovered from fields near a housing estate in Veracruz back in 2017.

“It turned out to be the biggest Mass grave in Mexico in modern times," Ioan said.

“297 skulls – I mean this is a mess… there are bones of five years old, eight years old, one year old two-year-old remains…”

Ioan says that every time one of these mass graves is discovered, mothers of missing young men turn up to morgues to see if they can identify their lost child.

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He recalls one incident when he was called to the morgue for a case where 49 bodies had been found decapitated and with their hands and feet removed to hamper identification.

“I came out of the morgue and there was a bunch of family members and I asked ‘what’s going on?’" he said.

"One woman told me ‘we're trying to find if our loved ones who have disappeared are among these victims so we want to do DNA tests”.

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“There's one woman I talked to. She was a schoolteacher and she described how her son was dragged out of their home on one evening – 18 year old philosophy student.

“What happened was she was sitting at home, she had her two sons there; one 18 year old, one 15 year old.

“Suddenly the door bangs, 15 guys come in with guns… start grabbing stuff and then they say ‘which your sons is the oldest?’

“The elder son raised his hand and said ‘I'm the eldest’

“They took him. She's got a phone call the next day to say ‘give us this amount of money we’ll give you a son back’.”

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The woman paid the ransom, but she never saw her son again.

He continued: “Other mothers I've talked to who had very similar stories eventually found and identified the bodies of their kids after something like three years.”

“You’ve just got thousands of disappearances that have come out of this conflict”.

Mothers of the disappeared have staged protests, calling out for some sort of help in finding their missing children.

Grillo described how a man pulled up in a car alongside one of these protests and handed one of the women a hand-drawn map and told her “you might find some bodies here”.

The map led to the 297-skull mass grave, close to a middle-class housing development. Eventually, after a years-long investigation the remains of the school-teacher’s son were found among those bodies.

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Grillo said as the investigation continued, nearby residents complained about the horrendous smell coming from the grisly excavation.

“That’s how bizarre and messed-up this conflict is,” he explained.

“It’s brutal, almost like medieval kind of warfare… a like medieval kind of morality.

“In some ways you’ve got to look at medieval stuff – the way these cartels operate it's like fealty.

“You’ve got like one powerful drug boss and then a guy is below who's like swearing fealty to him…

“But that’s happening at the same time you've got a trillion dollar economy. You go to Mexico City; you can go to a Starbucks, and sit there on your laptop and you can go to a trendy bar or beautiful beaches and that's happening as we're at the same time.

“So it's kind of weird how there's such normality around this like very harsh conflict”

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