In a chilling discovery, Mexican authorities have stumbled upon 45 bags containing human remains in a ravine near the city of Guadalajara. The search for seven young call centre workers, who were reported missing last week, led to the grim finding. While the exact number of bodies is yet to be determined, the remains found so far include both men and women. The challenging terrain and inadequate lighting are expected to prolong the search for several days.

Following a tip-off in the investigation of the seven missing individuals, the state prosecutor’s office for the state of Jalisco initiated a search at the Mirador del Bosque ravine. It was there that they came across the bags containing body parts. Firefighters, civil defense teams, police, and a helicopter crew are collaborating to recover the remains. Due to the difficult conditions, the investigation resumed on Wednesday, aiming to locate all the remains.

Authorities are committed to determining the identities of the deceased, as well as the causes of their deaths. Simultaneously, efforts are underway to establish the whereabouts of the seven missing people.

Disappearance-related crimes are unfortunately common in Mexico, with over 100,000 people reported missing, according to government figures. Many of these cases are attributed to organized crime, yet perpetrators rarely face consequences for their actions. The data reveals that disappearances surged after former President Felipe Calderón launched his “war on drugs” in 2007. The majority of the missing individuals are men, and a significant proportion were under 18 years old at the time of their disappearance.

Relatives of the missing express frustration over what they perceive as insufficient government efforts to locate their loved ones. They claim that officials display indifference when reports of disappearances are filed. The United Nations has labeled the situation “a human tragedy of enormous proportions.”

Jalisco, the epicenter of a violent drug war, is plagued by the presence of powerful criminal groups such as the Jalisco New Generation cartel (CJNG) and its rival faction, Nueva Plaza, which split from the CJNG in 2017, triggering widespread violence in Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco state. The region remains entangled in a cycle of criminal activity, leaving communities in fear and authorities grappling with the consequences.