13 bodies found in mass grave in Mexico

Mexico City, March 7 (IANS/EFE) The bodies of 13 people, three of them children, were found in a clandestine grave outside the western Mexican city of Apatzingan, sources in the Michoacan state Attorney General’s Office said Thursday.

The dead have been identified as the members of two families.

Authorities found the grave Tuesday night after relatives of the victims called police to accuse a member of a local armed self-defence group of having taken part in the abduction of the two families.

The alleged perpetrator apparently infiltrated one of the militias set up in Michoacan over the past year to defend communities from a powerful drug cartel, the sources in the state AG’s office said.

The mass grave was near the spot where drug trafficker Nazario Moreno Gonzalez died in a December 2010 clash with Mexican security forces.

Moreno was the top boss of the Familia Michoacana mob, whose breakup led to the creation of the Caballeros Templarios (Knights Templar) cartel.

The Templarios’ resort to extortion and murder to gain control over legitimate businesses in Michoacan spurred the creation of the local militias.

Federal Police and army troops have been deployed in Michoacan since Jan. 14 as part of a bid by Mexico’s government to crush the Templarios and bring the militias under the formal control of the military.

–IANS/EFE

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IANS