Mexico finds 64 bodies in mass graves as drug cartel probe ends

MEXICO CITY (AFP) - A total of 64 bodies have been found in mass graves in the western Mexican state of Jalisco, authorities said Monday as they wrapped up a probe of alleged victims of a drug cartel.

A total of 35 graves were found, an official at the attorney general's office said.

The search in an area bordering the drug-plagued state of Michoacan stemmed from a probe into the November 3 disappearance of two federal police officers.

They were not among the bodies found.

One civilian and some 20 police officers were arrested in the case of the missing two.

They allegedly confessed to capturing the pair of federal agents and turning them over to a drug gang called Jalisco New Generation.

The detainees led police to the many mass graves. Some of the bodies had been dead for months, others for two or three years, a spokesman for the attorney general's office said.

Some were bound by the hands and feet and showed signs of torture.

Jalisco New Generation is trying to penetrate into Michoacan and chase out a cartel called the Knights Templar.

Under the presidency of Felipe Calderon from 2006 to 2012, 26,121 people went missing in Mexico and drug-related violence claimed more than 70,000 lives as federal forces fought drug cartels.

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