March 15, 2019 / 6:10 PM / 4 months ago

Nineteen bags containing human remains found in Mexico

Forensic technicians work at a crime scene where a mutilated body was left by unknown assailants in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican prosecutors said on Friday they were investigating the discovery of 19 plastic bags containing human remains in Jalisco, a western state that has been battered by surging levels of gang violence.

The attorney general’s office of Jalisco said forensic experts were working to establish whether the bags contained complete bodies and whether the victims had been reported missing.

Authorities found the bags on Thursday in a wastewater river in the municipality of Ixtlahuacan de los Membrillos, some 41 km (25 miles) south of the state capital, Guadalajara.

Search efforts were suspended on Thursday night for security reasons and resumed on Friday morning, an official at the attorney general’s office said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Jalisco has in recent years been ravaged by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, one of the most powerful drug gangs in Mexico.

Fighting between gangs helped push the number of murders to record levels in Mexico last year, and violence has remained high in the first few months of the presidency of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; Editing by Jonathan Oatis

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