Truck carrying 157 unidentified corpses discovered in Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Overcrowding at morgues in Mexico's western state of Jalisco led authorities to store 157 unidentified bodies in a refrigerated truck near the city of Guadalajara, but complaints about the smell prompted an investigation Monday.

Neighbors' complaints about the truck caused authorities to change its location several times. It went from a morgue parking lot to another government-run lot, before it finally wound up in a field behind a housing development.

"This is a demonstration of insensitivity on the part of some public servants," said Roberto Lopez Lara, the Jalisco state interior secretary. He said the truck would be moved back to the morgue and an investigation would be carried out to see who made the decision.

Photos from the scene: 

5 PHOTOS
Truck carrying 157 unidentified corpses discovered in Mexico
See Gallery
Truck carrying 157 unidentified corpses discovered in Mexico
A trailer carrying more than 100 bodies of unidentified people is driven through the streets of Guadalajara after being taken from the winery of the prosecutor's in Guadalajara and transferred to the Jaliscience Institute of Forensic Sciences in Tlaquepaque, on Sptember 17, 2018. - Mexican authorities were scrambling to find a parking spot Monday for a truck carrying more than 100 unidentified bodies whose fetid smell has been infuriating residents in the city of Guadalajara. The refrigerated trailer -- rented when morgues in the country's second-largest city hit full capacity -- was parked for two weeks at a warehouse in the downtrodden neighborhood of Duraznera, on the city outskirts, until residents complained of the stench and the flies it attracted. . (Photo by Ulises Ruiz / AFP) (Photo credit should read ULISES RUIZ/AFP/Getty Images)
A trailer that carries more than 100 bodies of unidentified people runs through the streets of Guadalajara after being taken from the winery of the prosecutor's in Guadalajara and transferred to the Jaliscience Institute of Forensic Sciences in Tlaquepaque, on Sptember 17, 2018. - Mexican authorities were scrambling to find a parking spot Monday for a truck carrying more than 100 unidentified bodies whose fetid smell has been infuriating residents in the city of Guadalajara. The refrigerated trailer -- rented when morgues in the country's second-largest city hit full capacity -- was parked for two weeks at a warehouse in the downtrodden neighborhood of Duraznera, on the city outskirts, until residents complained of the stench and the flies it attracted. . (Photo by Ulises Ruiz / AFP) (Photo credit should read ULISES RUIZ/AFP/Getty Images)
A trailer that carries more than 100 bodies of unidentified people is driven through the streets of Guadalajara after being taken from the winery of the prosecutor's in Guadalajara and transferred to the Jaliscience Institute of Forensic Sciences in Tlaquepaque, on Sptember 17, 2018. - Mexican authorities were scrambling to find a parking spot Monday for a truck carrying more than 100 unidentified bodies whose fetid smell has been infuriating residents in the city of Guadalajara. The refrigerated trailer -- rented when morgues in the country's second-largest city hit full capacity -- was parked for two weeks at a warehouse in the downtrodden neighborhood of Duraznera, on the city outskirts, until residents complained of the stench and the flies it attracted. . (Photo by Ulises Ruiz / AFP) (Photo credit should read ULISES RUIZ/AFP/Getty Images)
A trailer carrying more than 100 bodies of unidentified people is driven through the streets of Guadalajara after being taken from the winery of the prosecutor's in Guadalajara and transferred to the Jaliscience Institute of Forensic Sciences in Tlaquepaque, on Sptember 17, 2018. - Mexican authorities were scrambling to find a parking spot Monday for a truck carrying more than 100 unidentified bodies whose fetid smell has been infuriating residents in the city of Guadalajara. The refrigerated trailer -- rented when morgues in the country's second-largest city hit full capacity -- was parked for two weeks at a warehouse in the downtrodden neighborhood of Duraznera, on the city outskirts, until residents complained of the stench and the flies it attracted. . (Photo by Ulises Ruiz / AFP) (Photo credit should read ULISES RUIZ/AFP/Getty Images)
A trailer carrying more than 100 bodies of unidentified people is driven through the streets of Guadalajara after being taken from the winery of the prosecutor's in Guadalajara and transferred to the Jaliscience Institute of Forensic Sciences in Tlaquepaque, on Sptember 17, 2018. - Mexican authorities were scrambling to find a parking spot Monday for a truck carrying more than 100 unidentified bodies whose fetid smell has been infuriating residents in the city of Guadalajara. The refrigerated trailer -- rented when morgues in the country's second-largest city hit full capacity -- was parked for two weeks at a warehouse in the downtrodden neighborhood of Duraznera, on the city outskirts, until residents complained of the stench and the flies it attracted. . (Photo by Ulises Ruiz / AFP) (Photo credit should read ULISES RUIZ/AFP/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

While refrigeration can slow the decomposition of bodies, many of the corpses had been recovered from clandestine graves in the state and are already rotted, officials said.

Javier Perlasca, an inspector for the state human rights commission, said that "this was a mistake ... and it is bothering the neighbors" as well as causing pain for victims' families.

"It is time to end these comings and goings that only outrage and hurt people," Perlasca said, adding that the bodies should be given a decent burial.

State and local authorities have struggled as an unprecedented number of bodies pile up from Mexico's rising tide of violence. Officials recorded 16,339 homicides across Mexico In the first seven months of this year, an increase of 17 percent from the same period of 2017.

Morgues in several states have run out of room. Last year, employees at prosecutors' offices near a morgue in the southern state of Guerrero said they had stopped work because of the smell, and the chief prosecutor for the Gulf state of Veracruz said some clandestine graves were not being investigated "because we don't have space to put the bodies that we might find."

In Jalisco, Perlasca said, "the physical space to keep the bodies of the dead has been outstripped ... given that every day they are finding bodies in different places, in clandestine graves, shot dead in the street, etcetera."

Read Full Story