Families Hope Mass Graves In Mexico Yield Clues About Relatives

By Al Macias, Hernán Rozemberg
April 15, 2011

Mexican authorities continue to find bodies in mass graves near the town of San Fernando. The Mexican community lies about 90 miles south of Brownsville, Texas. The grim task of identifying the more than 140 bodies is under way.

Families of missing persons throughout Mexico are arriving at the makeshift morgue in Matamoros, a larger city north of San Fernando, to see if they can get answers.

Reporters and family members have been warned not to try and go to San Fernando. The drug cartels who are suspected of being behind the mass murders control the highways, authorities said.

This means hundreds of people from around Mexico and the United States have been gathering for days around the morgue in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. Identifying the bodies may mean the end of hope for some families, but it may also provide closure.

George Ayala drove 26 hours from Riverside California, hoping to find answers.

"We can see if we can find my brother in-law we can see what happened. He disappeared three years ago," Ayala said. "We brought my father in law all the way from North Carolina to see if they can do that (a DNA test) … and see what happens."

While families wait for confirmation, Mexican authorities have arrested more than 30 people in connection with the murders including, 16 police officers in San Fernando. Federal authorities say the police officers protected drug cartel members.