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Human remains found in 45 bags are missing call center staff, Mexico confirms

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Human remains found in 45 bags discovered in a suburb of Guadalajara belong to call center workers who went missing in May, Mexican authorities have confirmed.

The Jalisco Institute of Forensic Sciences (IJCF) said Tuesday its tests had confirmed the remains belonged to the missing workers and said the next of kin had been informed. However, it did not specify whether remains from all seven of the missing workers were in the bags.

The seven workers disappeared from the metropolitan area of Guadalajara sometime after May 20. The search for them took a grisly turn last week when bags containing human body parts were found in a ravine in the municipality of Zapopan.

Mexico’s Secretary of Security Rosa Icela Rodriguez Velazquez said last Tuesday that initial investigations suggested the workers might have been involved in “some type of real estate fraud” and “telephone extortion.”

Mexico has been troubled by an epidemic of disappearances with more than 100,000 Mexicans and migrants still missing.

More than 1,500 bodies have been found in Jalisco state since 2018, official figures show. According to the office of the Jalisco’s special prosecutor for missing persons, 291 bodies were discovered in 2019, 544 bodies were found in 2020, 280 bodies in 2021, and 301 the following year. So far in 2023, 147 bodies have been found.

In March, after four Americans were kidnapped in Mexico, resulting in the deaths of two of them, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador argued that Mexico is a safer country than the United States.

Kidnapping and human trafficking are also not unusual in parts of Mexico, particularly in border areas and Mexico’s overall homicide rate is among the highest in the world.

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