More than 100 bodies found in secret mass grave within Mexico cartel stronghold

Authorities work at the site where at least 113 bodies have been identified inside a clandestine grave (Image: Francisco Guasco/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

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More than 100 dead bodies have been found piled together in a mass grave within the territory of one of Mexico's most notorious gangs. 

Many of the bodies are believed to have been dismembered with skulls found separately in nearby bags.

Police made the harrowing discovery in El Salto, Jalisco, the base of the deadly Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), headed by Nemesio 'El Mencho' Oseguera Cervantes.

Prosecutor Gerardo Octavio Solis told a press conference on Sunday that just 30 of at least 113 bodies had been identified, reports Newsweek.

Many of the bodies are believed to have been decapitated
(Image: Francisco Guasco/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

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Jalisco has seen the highest number of bodies exhumed from clandestine graves since 2006 with 867 and has the highest number of missing persons, with 3,568 in the last two years, a Mexico Ministry of the Interior report said.

The CJNG ruthlessly operates a multi-billion pound drugs empire and is known to rip out victims' hearts and eyes, and dissolve bodies in acid, as well as even targeting pregnant women, reports The Sun.

In October, 60 bodies had been found in a different mass grave in the town of Salvatierra in neighbouring state Guanajuato.

Just 30 of the dead have been identified by their relatives
(Image: Francisco Guasco/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

The mass grave was found within the territory of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel
(Image: Francisco Guasco/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

The army and National Guard provided security for the excavation due to the apparent dangers, with authorities shocked that the grave wasn't in a more deserted rural area.

Meanwhile, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday denied that Mexico had agreed to capture a cartel leader for the US in order to secure the return of ex-defense minister Salvador Cienfuegos from US custody.

Last week it was reported that Mexico agreed with US Attorney General William Barr to seek the arrest of a high-level Mexican drug cartel leader as part of a deal to get US drug trafficking charges against Cienfuegos dropped.

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