FBI due today in Mexico to help investigate mass graves
Drug killings suspected
November 30, 1999
EL PASO, Texas (CNN) -- More than 100 FBI agents and forensic experts are expected in northern Mexico on Tuesday to help dig up and identify the remains of as many as 100 missing U.S. and Mexican citizens who may have been killed by Mexico's Juarez drug cartel and buried in two mass graves.
Mexico's attorney general says 22 U.S. citizens are believed to be among the dead. Most of the victims are believed to be Mexicans.
The grave sites were discovered on two ranches near Juarez, south of El Paso, U.S. government sources said. One source said authorities uncovered some human remains there in recent days.
As part of a joint investigation with Mexican authorities, FBI forensic experts will help with the identification of the remains using DNA analysis, a process expected to take several weeks.
Both countries have been investigating the disappearance of their citizens along the Texas-Mexico border in recent years.
Pictures taken at one of the ranches, about 16 kilometers (10 miles) south of Juarez, showed it was surrounded by armed Mexican soldiers, their faces hidden by ski masks to protect their identities.
Mexican and U.S. authorities were tipped off about the possible mass graves by informants, the source said.
The area along the Texas-Mexico border is part of a major drug corridor into the United States. Mexican and U.S. authorities are investigating whether any links exist between the remains and the Juarez drug cartel, a major cocaine trafficker.
Juarez, just across the border from El Paso, is considered one of the most violent cities in Mexico -- with much of the violence linked to drug trafficking.
93 arrested in sting on Mexican drug cartel
Federal Bureau of Investigation - FBI Home Page
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