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  • Clandestine graves are seen at Pueblo Viejo, in the outskirts of Iguala, Oct. 7, 2014.

    Clandestine graves are seen at Pueblo Viejo, in the outskirts of Iguala, Oct. 7, 2014. | Photo: Reuters

Published 25 November 2016

Officials said they will continue the search for more clandestine graves in the area.

Authorities in Mexico have exhumed 32 bodies and nine heads from at least 20 secret mass graves in the violence-ridden southern state of Guerrero.

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The discovery was made in the town of of Zitlala, an area plagued by drug violence and cartels. Officials said they will continue the search for any additional hidden graves around the area.

The bodies and human remains were exhumed by experts from the attorney general of Guerrero and forensic personnel. They were already transferred to the state’s capital Chilpancingo "to initiate the necessary investigation," authorities said.

State security spokesman Roberto Alvarez told AFP the graves had been discovered following an anonymous tip, which led to the discovery of a kidnapping victim. He also said four heads were found "inside a cooler."

"It is worth mentioning that, of the 20 graves, only in 17 were human remains found, and so far none have been identified and there are no detainees who can be alleged to have been responsible," he added.

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Guerrero is probably the country's most violent state, riddled with deadly clashes between rival drug cartels and gangs.

Over the past decade, Mexican authorities have found countless human remains hidden in secret mass graves across the country. According to human rights organizations, the experts almost never manage to find the identity of those found.

A couple of months ago the government said a total of 27,659 people have disappeared since 2007, in addition to over 100,000 killed in connection to drug violence.

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