TIJUANA, Mexico – Investigators have unearthed human bones and teeth from pits used by a man known as the "Stew-maker," who confessed to dissolving 300 bodies of drug cartel victims, prosecutors said Friday.
Miguel Angel Guerrero, head of the Baja California state prosecutors' office on disappearances, said about 30 bone fragments and 15 tooth fragments were dug up Monday at a ranch in eastern Tijuana that was once occupied by Santiago "El Pozolero" Meza Lopez.
Pozole is a form of hominy stew, made with corn processed with caustic soda. Meza purportedly used a similar process to dissolve his victims.
Laboratory testing will determine the number of bodies found in the three adjoining graves, each about a yard (meter) deep, Guerrero said.
The remains would be the first confirmed victims of Meza, who has told authorities that he dissolved 300 bodies at various ranches in this border city before his arrest in January 2009.
The Citizen's Association Against Impunity, a Tijuana group that has pushed authorities to find the remains, said it hopes the fragments can be linked to some of the nearly 300 people it estimates have disappeared in Tijuana since 1997.
"It sounds bad to say, but this makes us happy in a certain way," said Fernando Ocegueda, the group's secretary, whose 23-year-old son vanished in 2007.