February 6, 2015 / 1:58 PM / 3 years ago

Sixty bodies found in abandoned crematorium in Mexico

ACAPULCO, Mexico (Reuters) - Sixty bodies, including men, women and children, were found in an abandoned crematorium in Western Mexico, authorities said on Friday, in a discovery that the state attorney general said was likely linked to negligence rather than drug-related violence.

Authorities, who originally said 61 bodies were found, said the remains at the crematorium, near the decaying seaside resort of Acapulco, were clothed, wrapped in sheets and sprinkled with lime. Many of them were in a state of decomposition.

“We are talking about a clear violation of state sanitation laws,” Miguel Angel Godinez, attorney general for the state of Guerrero, told Reuters.

The crematorium had been abandoned for months, and local residents had called police because of the smell, Godinez said.

Still, some of the bodies were “perfectly embalmed” and prepared for cremation, according to a statement from the attorney general’s office.

The discovery was made 130 miles (211 km) from the town of Iguala, where 43 student teachers were abducted by corrupt police and apparently massacred by drug gang members.

Authorities are investigating how and when the people died, and whether those responsible were guilty of disrespecting humans remains, the statement said.

President Enrique Pena Nieto is facing his deepest crisis over his government’s handling of the students’ disappearance. The case laid bare Mexico’s deep problem of impunity and corruption and it has overshadowed his efforts to focus attention on economic reforms.

Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz and Alexandra Alper; Editing by Simon Gardner and Bernadette Baum

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