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Families Turned Away from Mass Gravesite in Miguel Aleman

3 years 8 months 3 weeks ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 April 25, 2018 8:12 PM April 25, 2018 in News

CD. MIGUEL ALEMAN, Mex – Families on both sides of the border are waiting to enter into the mass gravesite in Miguel Aleman.

They tell CHANNEL FIVE NEWS they're being turned away.

The exhumations are a massive undertaking. From what the families told us, it's large, disorganized and poorly-funded.

Among this lively scene in the middle of the town's plaza, two women tell us what they've seen at Miguel Aleman.

Maria Valdez is the organizer of a large group of families with relatives who disappeared in Reynosa.

"Previous reports are lost. They don't have DNA samples. They don't even have body bags here. They are using trash bags and we've seen them wrap bodies in sheets and blankets," she says. "The group has 1,600 people and they all have a family member who disappeared. Some have two, some have three, some people have their entire families gone.”

Losing just one leaves a lasting impact. This mother, who we'll call 'Victoria' for her safety, tells us armed gunmen walked into her son's workplace in Adame and kidnapped him.

She filed a police report and agreed to meet investigators at a restaurant later to give them some extra documents.

Again, armed gunmen went in, kidnapped the investigators and shot three people dead. She's kept looking for her son.

In 2015, someone told her they found him in a pile of burned bodies in Tampico.

Victoria explained, "A lot of bodies that were at the Forensic Medical Service in Tampico were brought to Reynosa. That's why I'm here."

When she asked for the body nobody knew where it was.

It's an example both she and Valdez give to explain the disarray encountered in Miguel Aleman.

Valdez's organization is pleading for other governments like the U.S. to step in and help share information.

"We want the maps for the cemeteries. We want to know how many cemeteries there are. We want to know how many mass graves there are, too," says Valdez.

She believes there are far more than the initial estimate of 350 bodies to be exhumed in Ciudad Miguel Aleman alone.

The Tamaulipas Attorney General's Office is still asking families to report to their office. There you can donate DNA samples and get more instruction on what to do next.

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