Authorities in Mexico said Wednesday they have found 14 clandestine graves in the northern border state of Sonora after a tip from volunteer search teams made up of relatives of missing persons.

State prosecutors noted that the burial pits found by authorities contained bones and decomposing bodies with some burned, CTV News reported. 

Relatives of Missing People in Mexico Discover the 14 Clandestine Graves

Investigators said they could not yet determine the exact number of bodies recovered. However, they noted that it was rare for Mexican drug cartels to take the trouble to dig more than one pit to bury a single body. That's why their initial assessment on the number of victims was likely to be at least 14 individuals.

Authorities said the body dumping ground was discovered in a patch of scrubland by volunteer search teams composed of relatives of individuals who disappeared. The clandestine graves were found near a highway west of the Sonora state's capital, Hermosillo.

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Remains of Alleged Victims of Mexican Drug Cartels Recovered in Sonora

The state Sonora has been the scene of Mexican drug cartels' turf battles allegedly involving factions of the Sinaloa Cartel, allies of the Jalisco cartel, and a gang connected with fugitive drug kingpin Rafael Caro Quintero.

The announcement of the Mexican authorities about the discovery of the clandestine graves came a day after police discovered six human bodies hanging from a bridge and a tree in Zacatecas state.

The Secretary of Public Security of Zacatecas state said three bodies were hung from an overpass and three others from a tree in Fresnillo. Reuters reported that another two bodies were discovered on the ground of a property in a nearby community.

A week ago, Mexican drug cartels' gunmen reportedly hung 12 bodies of men from two separate overpasses in the state. They had hung three bodies from a bridge in the town of Fresnillo, while the second incident took place in Cuauhtémoc town, where nine bodies were hung on another bridge. There was a 10th body that was found on the side of the road. All of the victims were men.

On Wednesday, the Mexican army said it would send some 1,750 additional soldiers and 1,650 more members of the quasi-military National Guard to perform law enforcement duties in Zacatecas. It would also send three helicopter gunships to patrol in the area. 

Mexico's Defense Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandoval said the number of homicides linked to organized crime in the state has increased to almost three times since 2019. The incidents rose from 560 that year to a projected total of about 1,450 this year.

Most of the cartel violence in Zacatecas is reportedly connected to turf wars between Sinaloa Cartel and Jalisco Cartel. 

Aside from the two notorious Mexican drug cartels, the Gulf Cartel, Northeast Cartel, and the Los Talibanes also reportedly operate there. All five crime organizations are involved in the operations of trafficking fentanyl and other illegal drugs.

Mexican drug cartels usually make public displays of bodies to taunt their rivals or authorities. It is also sometimes used to scare local residents.

According to federal data, Mexico reportedly had more than 25,000 murders during this year's first nine months. This number was 3.4 percent less than the same period a year earlier.

READ MORE: Alleged Murderer in Mexico Arrested With Bag Containing 2 Human Heads 

This article is owned by Latin Post.

Written by: Jess Smith

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