HomeNewsBrief1,230 Bodies Found in Mexico's 'Narco-Graves' Since 2007

1,230 Bodies Found in Mexico's 'Narco-Graves' Since 2007


The number of bodies dug up from hidden graves in Mexico has been rising steadily over the past four years, according to the country's main human rights watchdog group, with a total of 1,230 found since 2007 -- over 60 percent of them this year.

According to data from Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), a quasi-governmental institution charged with evaluating the state’s adherence to human rights law, the bodies have been distributed in 310 graves across the country.

The commission’s data shows that the trend is increasing at an alarming rate. From January 2007 to December 2009, the CNDH counted only 123 victims buried in hidden graves, but since then organization has counted 1,107 (90 percent of the total).

So far this year 768 bodies have been discovered, making up some 63 percent of the total.

In general the states where these clandestine graves are found are home to the most drug-related violence, leading to the sites being referred to as "narco-graves." The largest burial sites have been found in Tamaulipas, Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon, Durango, Guerrero, Morelos, Coahuila, Veracruz, Michoacan and Oaxaca.

Perhaps the most famous “narco-grave” discovery took place in August 2010, when officials found the bodies of 72 Central American migrants buried in a series of graves in San Fernando, Tamaulipas. As InSight Crime has reported, organized crime has a tightening grip on the migrant smuggling business, meaning that migrants are especially vulnerable to drug violence.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.


What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.


Related Content


Contralinea magazine reviews testimony from protected witnesses about working as hitmen for the Sinaloa Cartel, painting a picture of life…


Officials in the Mexican government fear an increase in violence in the northeastern border region, following the death of Gulf…

EL CHAPO / 27 JAN 2017

US prosecutors have filed a memorandum detailing the lengthy criminal career of recently extradited Mexico drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo"…

About InSight Crime


Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…


Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…


Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…


InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…


Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…