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Body Remains Found on Mexico Border

December 9, 1999

MEXICO CITY (AP) _ The latest two skeletons pulled from clandestine grave sites near Mexico’s northern border were apparently gagged, blindfolded and shot in the back of the head, lending further support to the theory they were victims of drug gang violence, prosecutors said.

The teeth of one of the skeletons were broken, possibly at the moment the man was killed, the Attorney General’s Office wrote in a press statement on Wednesday.

The initial forensics reports on the two bodies discovered Monday buried at a ranch in the northern state of Chihuahua match, in some respects, the skeletal remains of six other men pulled from a common grave at the La Campana Ranch in Ciudad Juarez last week. In all, eight bodies have been recovered since excavations began across the border from El Paso, Texas.

Attorney General Jorge Madrazo told local media Wednesday that some of the bodies were bound, wrapped in blankets and sprinkled with quicklime, tactics that were reportedly used by drug gangs to dispose of victims.

Mexican federal police and FBI agents are working jointly to excavate suspected clandestine burial sites at four ranches around Ciudad Juarez after receiving a tip from a former Mexican federal police officer that as many as 100 bodies _ apparent victims of the Juarez cocaine cartel _ could be buried there.

The discovery of bodies on Monday came at a ranch police have identified as ``site number two,″ further south of Ciudad Juarez.

All the victims found to date were men; the approximate age of the latest two sets of remains _ between 35 and 39 years _ roughly matches that of the other victims.

However, five of the first six bodies found buried at La Campana ranch may not have been shot, but rather could have been asphyxiated by tape covering their mouth and nose. The sixth was shot to death.

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