Agency: 696 found in mass graves

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission says the discovery of 166 bodies in a field in Veracruz state brings to 696 the total number of corpses found in mass graves since the beginning of 2017.

The government rights agency says 163 clandestine burial pits have been found, mainly concentrated in states like Veracruz, Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Zacatecas and Jalisco.

The commission said the existence of such burial pits shows the lack of effective law enforcement.

The mass graves are often dug by drug and kidnapping gangs to dispose of the bodies of their victims or rivals.

The pace of such discoveries does not appear to have slowed much since the height of Mexico’s drug war. The commission said that between 2007 and 2016, 3,230 bodies were found in mass graves.