An unmarked mass grave in Mexico's Veracruz could hold the remains of more than 500 victims, an advocacy group comprising relatives of the forcibly disappeared told state officials Thursday.
The group, Solecito, said information regarding the mass grave came from a map sent anonymously by members of a criminal group. The location is roughly 10 km (6 miles) from the port of Veracruz, near another clandestine grave which police uncovered in 2016 after an anonymous tip reported nearly 300 victims of gang warfare.
"They sent us a map in which they indicated that there were more than 500 bodies," said Solecito spokeswoman Rosalia Castro Toss.
National authorities have already been notified and petitioned for permits to carry out a search, but Governor Miguel Angel Yunes Linares is refusing to lend the necessary heavy machinery, digging utensils, or ministerial and forensic police to assist in the investigation, Castro said.
Solecito, which is comprised primarily of mothers of the forcibly disappeared, blames the state for failing to address the rising number of missing people. Some 295 victims were exhumed from the Veracruz grave in 2016, but only 16 have so far been identified and returned to their families.
Castro maintains the state is struggling with mismanagement of government staff and there are not enough agents to handle the more than 37,000 missing persons cases: "How is it possible that there are millions of political campaigns and there is no way to identify a body?"
The report 'Violence and Terror: Findings on Clandestine Graves in Mexico,' published June 2017 by Mexico's Ibero-American University, concludes that in recent years 1,000 unmarked graves have been discovered nationwide, containing at least 2,014 skulls.
Mexico registered 23,101 killings between January and November 2017 alone, making it the country's most violent year on record in two decades.