Human Bones From More Than 100 People Found in Tijuana - NBC 7 San Diego

Human Bones From More Than 100 People Found in Tijuana

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    NBC 7's Elena Gomez reports on the discovery of over 100 bodies buried beneath a housing development in Tijuana, in connection with a member of the Mexican drug cartel. (Published Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017)

    The remains of more than 100 people found in a community in Tijuana, Mexico Wednesday are believed to have been buried in that location a decade ago and are possibly connected a drug cartel member who was arrested in 2009.

    Ev Meade, Director of the Transborder Institute at University of San Diego (USD), told NBC 7 Thursday, a press release confirming the discovery was sent out by a special branch of the Attorney General's office for organized crime in Mexico.

    Thursday, investigators were uncovering the bones of more than 120 people outside of the Maclovio Rojas area in Tijuana.

    Meade said while this is a new discovery, it's part of a longer history.

    "On the one hand, this is a new story because it is a new discovery-- these are new remains that haven’t been seen before. But in another way, this is a very old story. It’s the same story that has been going on since 2007 or 2008 when we started to learn the terrible history of a guy named 'El Pozolero' or 'stew maker,' Santiago Meza, who worked for the Arrellano-Felix cartel and Sinaloa cartel, dissolving the bodies of their victims in acid," Meade said.

    According to Meade, Meza was arrested in 2009 and admitted to dissolving the bodies of more than 300 people in acid and burying them. He gave the authorities a map of where the bodies were located.

    But Meade said the authorities "sat on this incredible declaration" because they were focused on taking down some of the big drug cartels in Tijuana.

    It wasn't until 2012 that one of the mass graves was discovered, Meade added.

    "This was the first time not only that they dug up one of these mass graves but that they allowed the victim’s families to see what it was like and see if they could perhaps do identifications," he told NBC 7. "There was a micro-burst of activity around it then but it never really went anywhere in part because it was hard to identify the victims and in part because of politics."

    Meade said new evidence led to the discovery of the bodies Wednesday, five years after the initial findings.

    At this time, it is unknown who the victims are and what caused their death.

    It has not been confirmed if Meza is connected to this incident.

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