Mexican authorities have fired an official from its forensics unit following a public outcry, after over 150 decomposing bodies were driven around a suburban area of the Mexican state of Jalisco in a refrigerated truck.
Residents were alarmed by a horrible stench coming from a truck and it emerged that it was filled with 157 unclaimed bodies; morgue officials had moved it several times around the Guadalajara area due to lack of burial space.
The corpse-filled truck was first spotted last week, parked in a warehouse in the outskirts of Guadalajara, the capital of Mexico’s Jalisco State, the paper El Universal reported. The vehicle belonged to the state forensic institute. The residents complained about the rancid smell coming from the truck, so a local mayor asked it to be moved someplace else.
The next day the vehicle was discovered parked in an open area in a different neighborhood, emitting the same stench. The residents, once again joined by local officials, filed several complaints. The outcry caused the truck to be moved to the government-run Guadalajara industrial zone.
Jalisco Governor fired the director of the local Forensics Institute Luis Octavio Cotero, saying he was guilty of “negligence.” But Cotero told local media two years ago he had warned that the number of homicides in the area meant that the morgue couldn’t handle the number of corpses.
Killings in Mexico’s western state are at a record high of 16,339 so far this year; it’s home to one of Mexico’s most violent and powerful drug gangs, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel. Morgues are filled to capacity with victims of the country’s drug war.
Work is currently underway on a new facility to hold 700 bodies, the state’s general secretary Roberto Lopez said last week.