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61 Bodies Found in Abandoned Mexico Crematorium

  • VOA News

Some 61 bodies have been discovered in an abandoned crematorium in the Mexican resort city of Acapulco, authorities said Friday.

Acapulco has been struggling with drug violence, but it was not immediately clear whether the bodies were murder victims or simply left in the crematorium when it closed.

The corpses were reportedly in a decomposed state when they were found Thursday, after neighbors complained of a foul smell coming from the facility. The crematorium was abandoned at least a year ago. Forensic experts were examining the bodies for more details, with an official statement from authorities expected later Friday.

Forty three students disappeared in the city, located in Guerrero state in September. Mexico's attorney general, Jesus Murillo, said last week investigators are now certain the students - all of them men - were abducted by corrupt police officers and handed over to members of the Guerreros Unidos drug gang. He said the gang killed the students at a garbage dump, then burned their bodies and dumped the remains.

The men went missing in the city of Iguala, some 200 kilometers north of Acapulco.

Dozens of people have been arrested in the case, including the mayor of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca. Authorities believe Abarca and his wife ordered police to abduct the students.

The disappearance led to massive street protests across Mexico, with angry demonstrators accusing President Enrique Peña Nieto of failing to address the country's chronic crime and security problems. The case has become the biggest challenge of his two years in office.