55 Bodies Dumped in Abandoned Mexican Silver Mine
55 Bodies Dumped in Abandoned Mexican Silver Mine

Officials say at least 55 bodies have now been recovered in southern Mexico from an abandoned silver mine that became a dumping ground for apparent victims of the country's lethal drug wars.

The attorney-general for the southern state of Guerrero, Albertico Guinto, said the search for bodies concluded Saturday night. He said the mass grave may be the largest ever unearthed in Mexico.

Authorities discovered the site in late May, about 100 meters deep in the mine, near Taxco, a colonial-era tourist attraction famous for its silver jewelry. The bodies apparently had been dumped over a long period of time in an airshaft near the entrance.

Most of the victims have yet to be identified, but prosecutors say one of the bodies was a kidnapped state prison warden.

Guerrero has recently been plagued by drug violence among rival gangs.

Mexico's drug cartels, which have been battling for turf for years, frequently use mass graves to bury their enemies.

On Sunday, police reported the discovery of six decapitated men in the northern state of Durango.

An estimated 23,000 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico since President Calderon took office in 2006 and began cracking down on the cartels.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.