November 23, 2013
Excelsior now says that the total is 42. Also updated with corrected count of detainees By Chris Covert Rantburg.com
Another four bodies were found in the La Barca, Jalisco mass grave Friday bringing the death toll to 37, according to Mexican news reports.
As of Sunday evening, according to Excelsior news daily, the death toll in La Barca is at 42.
According to an El Universal wire service report featured on the website of El Diario de Coahuila news daily, all but two of the dead were men. Mexican Procuraduria General de la Republica (PGR) or attorney general Jesus Murillo Karam, was quoted saying that 31 bodies have been examined, but none of them are the two PGR ministerial agents who went missing two weeks ago.
The grave was found after police detained 20 individuals of a kidnapping ring, including local police agents almost two weeks ago. Information from the raid led investigators to the La Barca site. Apparently the gravesite extends over an area which straddles the Michoacan and Jalisco state borders, and include Villa Hermosa municipality in Michoacan, as well as La Barca municipality.
Michoacan is currently one of Mexico’s most violent states, as drug cartels have reacted with violence to indigenous self defense groups, which were formed stop encroachment on Indian land considered sacred.
Meanwhile in Tancitaro municipality, a Mexican Army road patrol exchanged gunfire with suspected members of Los Caballeros Templarios drug cartel Friday. The Proceso wire service report did not detail casualties in this latest encounter.
Armed suspects were caught at around 1600 hrs. According to the wire report, the encounter was the third in Tancitaro municipality since November 16th, when self defense groups, colloquially known as autodefensa took control of Tepalcatepec and Buenavista Tomatlan municipalities.
The report also mentions a separate shooting involving drug cartel shooters taking place in November 19th in Tancitaro municipality near the village of Zirimbo. In that incident, cartel shooters fired their weapons on a residence. Casualties in that shooting were not detailed in the wire report.