International

Grisly Find: 72 Bodies On Mexican Ranch

Mexican weapons

A Mexican military official speaks in front of weapons, seized from drug traffickers, Aug. 18, 2010.  Alexandre Meneghini/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Alexandre Meneghini/AP

Just when you think the violence just across the U.S.'s southern border couldn't possibly get worse, a story emerges that suggests that, no, it could get worse, much worse.

Like Wednesday's news reports on the 72 bodies found on a ranch in San Fernando in northern Mexico, apparently Central American migrants who became victims of a drug gang. The bodies were found by Mexican marines.

As NPR's Jason Beaubien reported for the radio network's newscast:

The Mexican Marines were manning a road block in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas when a man who'd been shot came to them asking for medical help.

The man told them about a nearby ranch that serves as a base for one of the drug gangs. As the Marines attempted to investigate, a firefight broke out, killing one marine and three supposed cartel gunmen.

In addition to the bodies of 58 men and 14 women, the Mexican Navy says  they also seized 21 assault rifles, almost 7,000 rounds of ammunition, several flak jackets and camouflage uniforms.

Earlier this summer 50 bodies were found at a garbage dump outside Monterrey. But officials say this is the largest mass grave discovered since President Calderon launched his offensive against the cartels 3 ½ years ago.

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