June 9, 2017 / 12:42 AM / 2 months ago

14 bodies found in mass grave in Mexican resort of Los Cabos

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The bodies of 11 men and three women were found in a mass grave near the tourist resort of San Jose del Cabo on the southern tip of the Baja peninsula, where violence between rival drug gangs has surged.

Authorities are running DNA tests from the bones in an attempt to identify the remains that were discovered on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Baja California Sur state prosecutors office said in a statement.

A forensic team was still looking for more remains on Thursday.

The murder rate has surged in Baja California Sur in the past three years due to a spike in violence in the municipality of Los Cabos, which includes the towns of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.

The number of murders in the first four months of the year increased more than five times from the same period last year to 144, according to government data.

Mass graves, some with hundreds of bodies, have been discovered around Mexico in the states that have been hardest hit by drug violence, such as Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Morelos and Guerrero.

Some 30,000 people have disappeared in Mexico since drug violence increased sharply around 2007. More than 150,000 have been killed since then, when former president Felipe Calderon sent the army out to battle drug gangs.

Reporting by Anahi Rama and Michael O'Boyle; Editing by Bill Trott

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