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“Narco” Mexico: the carnage continues, now 72 corpses in a mass grave

A soldier burns seized weapons from drug smugglers at the Secretary of the Defense headquarters in Mexico City. File photo: AP.

A Mexican drug cartel massacred 72 Central and South American migrants within 100 miles of the U.S. border that they were trying to reach, according to an Ecuadorian survivor who escaped and stumbled wounded to a highway checkpoint where he alerted marines, official said Wednesday.

The marines fought the cartel gunmen at a ranch in the northern state of Tamaulipas on Tuesday, a battle that left one marine and three suspects dead. They found the bodies of 58 men and 14 women in a room, some piled on top of each other.

The Ecuadorian migrant told investigators that his captors identified themselves as members of the Zetas drug gang, said Vice Adm. Jose Luis Vergara, a spokesman for the Mexican Navy. Authorities believe the migrants were from Honduras, El Salvador, Brazil and Ecuador.

It is the biggest massacre to date in Mexico’s drug war and the most horrifying example yet of the dangers faced by immigrants trying to get to the U.S.

“It’s absolutely terrible and it demands the condemnation of all of our society,” said Alejandro Poire, the government’s security spokesman.

Authorities did not say why the gang killed the migrants. Mexico’s drug cartels frequently kidnap migrants and threaten to kill them unless they pay fees for crossing their territory. Sometimes, gangs…READ MORE HERE

Mexico’s navy found 72 corpses in a mass grave near the U.S. border following a shootout with an alleged organized crime group.

The armed forces were tipped off to the whereabouts of the grave on a ranch in Tamaulipas state by a wounded man who approached soldiers at a traffic checkpoint saying he’d been shot, according to a statement posted on the navy’s website.

The group fired at the naval forces as they approached the ranch in the city of San Fernando, about 80 miles from the Texas border, the statement showed.

“The federal government categorically condemns the barbarian acts committed by criminal organizations,” the navy said in the statement.

Violence related to drug gangs has intensified this year and includes the assassination of a gubernatorial candidate and the use of car bombs. Mexico has reported more than 28,000 deaths related to organized crime since President Felipe Calderon took office in 2006.

The bodies found at the ranch included…READ MORE HERE