MEXICO CITY — Volunteer searchers say they have found more than three dozen bodies over the past three days in the desert near the Mexican resort of Puerto Penasco.
Prosecutors in the northern border state of Sonora said late Thursday that at least two of the bodies may be women. Tests are being conducted to determine the gender and identity of the bodies.
Prosecutors said only one of the bodies was relatively recent; the others were "complete skeletons with clothing."
The bodies were found by a group of women who are volunteer searchers. The group is made up of relatives of missing people who investigate reports of clandestine burial sites.
On Friday, KGUN9 spoke to Ceci Patricia Flores, a woman who is a volunteer with the group. She says over the course of three days, volunteers have found at least 42 bodies scattered throughout the desert region in the state of Sonora, which borders Arizona.
Ceci Patricia Flores is a mother of two boys, both of whom have disappeared in Mexico.
She says due to organized crime.
“I would never be able to express the pain I feel. It is an indescribable pain. There are no words. There is no consolation,” Fores said in Spanish.
When her second son disappeared, she founded “Madres Buscadoras de Sonora,” a group of women who dedicate their lives to search for disappeared loved ones.
A couple days ago, her organization went to Rocky Point to start a search. She says what they have found is horrific.
“The first day we found 4 graves with 4 burned remains.Yesterday we found 13 graves with 13 decomposing bodies, with identifiable features,” she told KGUN9 in Spanish.
Today she says they discovered 25 more bodies.
“This is something my colleagues and I will never be able to recover from,” she added in Spanish.
While the discoveries bring pain to their hearts, Flores says she is happy to be able to bring a child home to their family.
“I take comfort in knowing that families are going to be united with their loved one...and that they will have a proper burial, like the deserve,” Flores said in Spanish
Flores says they are done with their search in the area, for now--but that she will continue searching for others, in hopes of finding her beloved sons.
Because of deficient police investigations, such volunteer groups have been responsible for discovering mass graves and burial pits in many parts of Mexico.
Drug and kidnapping gangs use such pits to dispose of the bodies of victims or rivals.
Puerto Penasco is also known as Rocky Point. It is located on the Gulf of California, also known as the Sea of Cortez.
While not as violent as some other parts of Mexico, Puerto Penasco has been known for Sinaloa drug cartel activity and a large-scale shootout between cartel gunmen and military forces occurred there in 2013.