Fifty-nine bodies were found buried Wednesday in a series of pits in the northern Mexico state of Tamaulipas, near the site where suspected drug gang members massacred 72 migrants last summer, officials said.
Security forces investigating reports that a passenger bus had been hijacked in the area conducted a raid that netted 11 suspected kidnappers and freed five kidnap victims.
Then they made a grisly discovery–a total of eight pits, containing a total of 59 corpses. One of the pits held 43 dead.
The area is about 80 miles (130 kilometers) from the border at Brownsville, Texas.
Mexican drug cartels have taken to recruiting migrants, common criminals and youths, Mexican authorities say.
It was unclear if the victims found Wednesday were migrants. Migrants frequently travel by bus in Mexico/
But drug gunmen also operate kidnapping rings, and erect roadblocks on highways in Tamaulipas and other northern states, where they hijack vehicles and rob and sometimes kill passengers.
San Fernando is on a major highway that leads to the U.S. border.
Drug gangs across Mexico also sometimes use mass graves to dispose of the bodies of executed rivals.