Roughly 170 bodies have been held in a refrigerated truck in the Mexican state of Jalisco.
The bodies are mostly those of unidentified victims of crime, according to a prosecutor at the Jalisco attorney general’s office. They were put in the truck two years ago because the morgue was full.
The truck was initially parked at a morgue but was driven around Guadalajara on September 7, leading residents to complain of a foul smell.
“There is no place to safeguard our dead,” said Mexican writer and activist Denise Dresser. “Why is this not a national scandal?We have normalized violence so much that we’re also indifferent to this? Who responds?”
This isn’t the first time Mexican morgues haven’t had enough space for dead bodies. Last year, reports surfaced that a morgue in Chilpancingo was holding more than twice its capacity of dead bodies.
Nearly 19,000 people were homicide victims in Mexico in the first seven months of 2018. In the state of Jalisco alone, the number was more than 1,200 — a 47% increase from 2017. Much of the violence in the city is attributed to drug trafficking and local criminal enterprises.
Luis Octavio Cotero, the head of the forensic institute, was fired for the mismanagement of the bodies, but he claims that he’s being scapegoated.