A mass grave was recently discovered in the Mexican state of Veracruz containing more than 250 human skulls that all appear to have been the victims of cartel violence in recent years.

“For many years, the drug cartels disappeared people and the authorities were complacent,” Jorge Winckler, the state attorney general, said in a television interview with the Televisa network.  According to him, the recent discovery of the mass grave speaks directly to the corruption and violence residents of Mexico have had to endure in recent years.

Little is known thus far about the identities of those found in the grave, but Veracruz has been the site of a number of battles between powerful drug cartels in the region.  Winckler’s statement indicated that the skulls could potentially have been amassed over years of fighting.

The state attorney general went on to say that Mexican officials are working to tie DNA gathered from the human remains with samples maintained in a database of DNA provided by family members of missing persons in the country.  Thus far, only a police detective and his assistant have been successfully identified.