Authorities in the Mexican city of Guadalajara have resorted to storing corpses in a refrigerated trailer as the country’s spiraling drug war fills up its morgues, but residents are outraged as the stench of bodies permeates their neighborhoods.
As many as 157 corpses are being stored in a mobile morgue that has been bouncing around the city’s suburbs for more than a week, the BBC reports.
Authorities in the western state of Jalisco, where Guadalajara is located, are scrambling to find a storage solution because Mexican law prohibits cremating corpses associated with violent crimes.
Luis Octavio Cotero, the former chief of Jalisco’s forensic unit, said officials “ran out of cemetery plots where we could bury them,” according to the BBC.
State officials ultimately hope to establish a temporary cemetery to hold up to 800 unclaimed bodies, the Associated Press reports.
Residents have complained about the stench emanating from the trailer, which was relocated from a suburban warehouse over the weekend.
“We don’t want it here. They need to put it somewhere else, it stinks,” said resident José Luis Tovar, according to the BBC.
Jalisco’s state governor responded by firing former forensics chief Cotero for “negligence” in handling the bodies, AP reports. But Cortero said Tuesday that the crisis was foreseeable: he warned prosecutors two years ago that state mortuaries would be unable to cope with the rising tide of violence.
It could get worse: officials have already recorded more than 16,000 homicides in 2018, according to AP, a 16% increase on last year’s record.
- What We Know So Far About the Deadly Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria
- Beyoncé's Album of the Year Snub Fits Into the Grammys' Long History of Overlooking Black Women
- How the U.S. Shot Down the Alleged Chinese Spy Balloon
- Effective Altruism Has a Toxic Culture of Sexual Harassment and Abuse, Women Say
- Inside Bolsonaro's Surreal New Life as a Florida Man—and MAGA Darling
- 'Return to Office' Plans Spell Trouble for Working Moms
- 8 Ways to Read More Books—and Why You Should
- Why Aren't Movies Sexy Anymore?
- How Logan Paul's Crypto Empire Fell Apart