45 bags of remains dumped in Mexico ravine confirmed to belong to missing call centre workers

Human remains found in 45 bags outside Guadalajara, Mexico, have been identified as the bodies of call centre workers who disappeared in May.

The Jalisco Institute of Forensic Sciences issued a report Tuesday confirming the remains were those of the missing workers. The victims' next of kin have been informed of their identification, the agency said.

One of the missing seven people was 23-year-old Carlos Valladolid, an American from Arizona. His sister, Itzel Valladolid, 27, was also among the missing.

Jorge Moreno, 28; Mayra Velázquez, 29; Arturo Robles, 30; Jesús Salazar, 37; and Carlos García, 31, were also among the missing.

The workers disappeared from the Guadalajara area after 20 May. A search began for the missing workers, eventually concluding with the discovery of the bags of remains in a ravine last week, according to CNN.

The bags were found in Zapopan, a suburb of Guadalajara. Prosecutor Louis Joaquin Mendez Ruiz said the bags had been tossed down a deep portion of the ravine.

The prosecutor's office said that early reports found the remains “match the physical characteristics of some of the young people missing employees of the call centre”.

The motive is currently unclear, but Mexico's Secretary of Security Rosa Icela Rodriguez Velazquez said last week that the employees may have been involved in "some type of real estate fraud" or "telephone extortion."

Publicly available evidence cannot confirm those claims.

Prosecutors are also investigating whether or not the Jalisco Nueva Generacion Cartel is involved in the incident.

More than 1,500 bodies have been found in the state of Jalisco since 2018, according to state data.

The state's special prosecutor for missing persons said 291 bodies were found in 2019, and 544 were found in 2020. In 2023, 147 bodies have already been found, including those of the slain call centre workers.

The sister of Mr Robles, one of the missing workers, told El Pais she felt as though the authorities were negligent in their search for the missing.

“The truth is that it is difficult not to understand it because you arrive there and the walls of the Attorney General’s Office are covered with missing persons,” she said. “You hear about these things on the news. We live in an insecure country, you know these things happen, but you never imagine that it could happen to you.”

She also noted the uptick in kidnappings and murders in her state.

“And this is like fighting a monster that keeps getting bigger and you can’t stop it,” Ms Robles said. “The government does nothing. It’s hard, but we keep hoping to find him dead or alive.”