At the site of the destruction of the cartel; Mexico nearly 100,000 missing

Perhaps the largest such facility was another border crossing near the mouth of the Rio Grande called the “dungeon,” in an area controlled by the Gulf cartel. The memory still worries Masias. The first time he left, he saw the pelvis, the skulls, the femurs, everything that lay there, and I said to myself, “This can’t be.”

Authorities found more than 1,100 pounds of bones at the site.

According to the Tamaulipas forensic service, about 15 “places of destruction” were found. There are also burial places: in 2010, graves with the bodies of 191 bodies were found along one of the main migration routes through Tamaulipas to the border. In 2014, 43 students disappeared in the southern state of Guerrero. Only three were identified by pieces of burnt bones.

Most of the places of destruction were found by family members who themselves carry out controls with or without the support and protection of the authorities. Such search groups exist in almost every state.

In families, these discoveries evoke hope and pain.

“It combines a lot of emotions,” said the woman, who has been looking for a husband since 2014 and two brothers who later disappeared. Like thousands of relatives across Mexico, she has made the search for her loved ones her life. “It makes you happy when you find (the site), but the moment you see things the way they are, you dive.”

A woman who asked to remain anonymous for security reasons was present at the discovery of two sites last year. When she entered Nuevo Laredo with Masias, she could only cry.

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