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The Mexican government charged 73 suspects Wednesday in the killings of 183 people whose bodies were recovered during April in mass graves near the U.S. border, prosecutors said
The government had in the past weeks announced the detention of 74 people, including several police officers who allegedly protected gang members, but Najera said no one had been charged until Wednesday. He said more suspects were in custody of the federal government pending charges, but he didn't know the number.
In the northern state of Durango, authorities have unearthed 226 bodies since April 11 in residential neighborhoods in the state capital, also called Durango. The latest three bodies were removed this week, Fernando Rios, spokesman for the state police, said Wednesday. Excavations continue.
In what has become a string of mass graves discovered in Mexico, law enforcement authorities there have uncovered one of the most gruesome yet.
Eighty-nine bodies were found buried in a vacant auto repair lot in Durango, Mexico. Since April, a total of seven mass graves have been found in the city of almost 600,000, and 308 bodies have been recovered so far.
All the graves have been located in middle-class neighborhoods near schools. Officials say the mass graves probably hold the corpses of executed gang rivals or possibly kidnap victims and even some police. Some of the corpses have been in the ground less than six months, while others have been there for as long as 4 years.
Some human rights advocates argue police in Durango may have turned a blind eye to the grim crimes going on in their city, citing a recent case in which 17 corrupt Mexican police were arrested for their alleged involvement in a slaughter last month.