Mexican officials said they have located at least 64 bodies in mass graves in the western part of the country, the BBC reported Tuesday
The graves were found in Michoacan and Jalisco states in an area where the Knights Templar and New Generation drug cartels operate.
Some of the victims had been bound and ganged, while others were apparently tortured. Officials said they will now begin working to identify the deceased, according to the BBC.
Authorities uncovered the graves while searching for two federal officers who disappeared in the area Nov. 3. Their burnt-out vehicle was later located, but the search for the missing officers continues.
Twenty-five people have been arrested in connection with the pair’s disappearance. All but three of the suspects are local police officers.
The Mexican government has deployed extra troops in parts of western Mexico in an effort to combat mounting violence in the region.
An estimated 70,000 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico since 2007, and another 26,000 have “disappeared” under suspicious circumstances, the Financial Times reported
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