13 bodies found out of 50000 people missing in Mexico

A judicial worker walks past coffins with unclaimed corpses (AFP Photo)

Families searching for their disappeared relatives in Mexico have found 13 bodies in a mass grave, authorities said, the latest such discovery in a country with nearly 50,000 missing persons.

Authorities said the bodies were found in a hole in the town of Puerto Penasco, in the northwestern state of Sonora, around 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the US border.

"Forensic analysis will be carried out to determine the cause of death and identify the 13 bodies," the state prosecutor's office said on Twitter.

The grim find was made by a collective of families with missing relatives.

Such groups have grown common in Mexico, which is racked by soaring violence fueled by turf wars between drug cartels fighting over lucrative trafficking routes to the United States.

Victims of cartel hitmen or corrupt authorities often disappear without a trace. Currently, 49,180 people are reported as missing in Mexico.

At the same time, more than 37,000 unidentified bodies are sitting in the country's overflowing morgues, according to activists.

Reining in violent crime has emerged as one of the biggest challenges facing leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took office last year.

He has launched a new security strategy based around the creation of a National Guard to take back the civilian police duties the government gave to the military in 2006. But there has been little visible impact so far.

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