A mass grave discovered in Mexico contained the bodies of 18 kidnapped tourists, it has been confirmed.
Relatives of the Mexican holiday-makers identified the remains at a morgue in the resort city of Acapulco. They disappeared on 30 September after they left their home town of Morelia. Witnesses last saw them looking for their hotel in Acapulco. They are believed to have been kidnapped by a drugs gang, but it is not clear why. The region is the scene of a violent turf war between rival drug cartels. The families of the men, many of whom were related, have said most of them were mechanics who saved up money to take a vacation together each year. Police officers and troops examined the site of the mass grave just outside Acapulco on Wednesday, after a video was posted on the internet detailing its whereabouts. Revenge attack Two men featured in that video – who identified themselves as repentant gang members – are also believed to have been killed. In the video, the men, with their hands apparently tied behind their backs, said they had killed what they called the «20 michoacanos» – a reference to the tourists’ home state. They tell an unseen questioner they were ordered to kill the men in a revenge attack against La Familia Michoacana, a violent drug cartel active on Mexico’s Pacific coast. The bodies of two murdered men were found beside the mass grave dressed in the same clothes as the men in the video. A message beside the bodies read: «The people they killed are buried here.» Mass killings and the discovery of mass graves have become more frequent in recent months, while the use of gruesome video messages has also become more common. More than 28,000 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico since December 2006 when President Felipe Calderon began deploying troops to take on the traffickers.