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.

“I cannot imagine how many more people are illegally buried there,” Winckler said of the region before noting the state has reports of about 2,400 people who are still missing.  “Veracruz is an enormous mass grave.”

Thus far only about a third of the gravesite has been processed.

Although Winckler did not reveal how or exactly when the mass grave was discovered, this is not the first site discovered in the Mexican state that contains the remains of enemies of the cartels.  Members of Colectivo Solecito, a group of women that organized in search of their missing children, discovered a similar grave in Veracruz in August.  Altogether, one hundred and twenty-five mass graves have been discovered over the past eight months in a region of Mexico known as Colinas de Santa Fe.

According to sources within Colectivo Solecito, members of the group had gathered in a street protest on Mother’s Day last year when they were approached by members of a cartel that provided them with a map indicating where they could find the graves.  The group immediately began raising money to finance their search and to rent excavating equipment by holding bake sales and raffles.  Their efforts proved fruitful, as a great deal of the recent grave discoveries were thanks to the direct effort or support of the group.