Dozens of bags containing human remains have been found in Mexico - a grisly discovery that could be linked to the disappearance of seven members of staff at a call centre.
In total, 45 bags of human remains were found in the Mirador del Bosque ravine in Zapopan, a Guadalajara suburb, on Wednesday during a search for the call centre employees.
The prosecutor’s office in the state of Jalisco said that early information indicates that the remains “match the physical characteristics of some of the young people missing employees of the call centre”.
The seven employees were reported missing in late May in the Guadalajara metro area in the western parts of the country, according to CNN.
Jalisco prosecutor Luis Joaquín Méndez Ruíz said that the body parts had been tossed in a very steep area.
Forensic workers have yet to identify the victims or determine how many there are.
The Jalisco Institute of Forensic Sciences is working with the families of those reported missing to identify the remains.
Prosecutors in Jalisco are looking into the possibility that drugs and organised crime group, the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel, could be involved, Newsweek noted. The group is known for its use of excessive violence.
According to the US Treasury, the group has engaged in phone extortion and fraud against Americans.
One American, 23-year-old Carlos Valladolid of Arizona, is among the seven missing individuals.
His sister, Itzel Valladolid, 27, is also among those missing, along with Jorge Moreno, 28, Mayra Velázquez, 29, Arturo Robles, 30, Jesús Salazar, 37, and Carlos García, 31.
The Valladolid siblings were reported missing by their mother, Elizabeth Hernandez.
“We need them back now, we are very hurt,” she said. “We really need the support of all the people who know something and that the information is true.”
The sister of Mr Robles told the El Pais paper that the authorities weren’t doing enough to find those missing.
“The truth is that it is difficult not to understand it because you arrive there and the walls of the Attorney General’s Office are covered with missing persons,” she said. “You hear about these things on the news. We live in an insecure country, you know these things happen, but you never imagine that it could happen to you.”
“And this is like fighting a monster that keeps getting bigger and you can’t stop it,” Ms Robles said. “The government does nothing. It’s hard, but we keep hoping to find him dead or alive.”
Mexico has been struck by an influx of people disappearing as more than 100,000 Mexicans and migrants are missing.
Four Americans were abducted in March, leading to the deaths of two of them. The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador claimed in the aftermath that his country is safer than the US.
Abductions, kidnappings, and human trafficking remain issues in parts of Mexico, specifically in areas around the border. The country’s homicide rate is ranked among the highest in the world, according to figures shared by the World Bank.