MEXICO CITY – Mexican investigators found two more bodies buried in the backyard of a house in Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, increasing the tally of corpses found there to 14, officials said on Monday.
Federal agents began digging in the yard of the house in the La Cuesta neighborhood in February, finding nine dismembered bodies. Five more, including two announced Monday, were discovered in the past week, the federal Attorney General's office said in a news release.
Five of the 14 bodies had been buried about five years ago, the statement said. Agents and cadaver-sniffing dogs continued to dig at the site Monday night as investigators sought to identify the corpses.
The Attorney General's Office did not say how the victims died or who is believed to have buried their remains, but it did note that 3,740 pounds of marijuana were found in the house the initial raid.
Ciudad Juarez, a northern border city that is home to the Juarez cartel, has been plagued by violence as Mexico's crackdown on powerful drug cartels stokes turf wars among traffickers that have been linked to hundreds of killings in the past two years.
Cartels frequently use "safe houses" in border cities to store drugs, house gunmen and dispose of rivals' remains.
Federal agents last month found six bodies buried in a shallow grave at a house allegedly used by the Juarez cartel in the northern city of Chihuahua.
In January 2004, police unearthed a grave containing 12 bodies in a Ciudad Juarez backyard.