The number of bodies dug up from hidden graves in Mexico has been rising steadily over the past four years, according to the country’s main human rights watchdog group, with a total of 1,230 found since 2007 — over 60 percent of them this year.
According to data from Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), a quasi-governmental institution charged with evaluating the state’s adherence to human rights law, the bodies have been distributed in 310 graves across the country.
The commission’s data shows that the trend is increasing at an alarming rate. From January 2007 to December 2009, the CNDH counted only 123 victims buried in hidden graves, but since then organization has counted 1,107 (90 percent of the total).
So far this year 768 bodies have been discovered, making up some 63 percent of the total.
In general the states where these clandestine graves are found are home to the most drug-related violence, leading to the sites being referred to as “narco-graves.” The largest burial sites have been found in Tamaulipas, Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon, Durango, Guerrero, Morelos, Coahuila, Veracruz, Michoacan and Oaxaca.
Perhaps the most famous “narco-grave” discovery took place in August 2010, when officials found the bodies of 72 Central American migrants buried in a series of graves in San Fernando, Tamaulipas. As InSight Crime has reported, organized crime has a tightening grip on the migrant smuggling business, meaning that migrants are especially vulnerable to drug violence.