The National Human Rights Commission slammed the authorities in central Mexico over their handling of 119 bodies buried in two common graves in 2014. The commission Thursday ordered the prosecutor’s office in Morelos state to offer a public apology to the victims’ families for its “not very dignified” handling of the bodies. The law allows the authorities to bury bodies that are not identified and that no one claims, but the commission concluded that the handling of the corpses in this case was “irregular” and failed to follow protocols.
The case has caused outrage in Mexico, where 28,000 people have gone missing in a decade-long drug war in which families are desperately looking for their loved ones.
The governmental human rights commission ordered the Morelos state government to compensate the families of four of the victims who were buried even though the bodies had been identified by their relatives.
Only 21 bodies were identified after all the corpses were exhumed in May in Tetelcingo at the request of relatives of missing people and non-governmental organizations.
Identifying the others will be “complicated” because of the “improper handling” of the bodies, the rights body said.
The commission also reprimanded the authorities for failing to properly investigate the cases of 44 people who had apparently died violently.
“The remains of any person must be treated with respect and the circumstances and conditions of their death must be determined by the authorities,” Enrique Guadarrama, a commission official, told a news conference.
The bodies were transferred to the common graves because they were in overcrowded morgues.