El Salvador: Remains of 24 people found in ex-policeman’s garden
(BBC) – The remains of at least 24 people have been uncovered at the home of a former police officer in El Salvador.
The graves may hold up to 40 bodies – most of them thought to be women or girls, officials say. Exhuming all the bodies could take another month.
Police believe that the discovery reveals a secret murder ring operating over a decade.
El Salvador has one of Latin America’s highest rates for femicide, the murder of a woman because of her gender.
Hugo Ernesto Osorio Chávez, 51, was detained in Chalchuapa this month for killing a 57-year-old woman and her 26-year-old daughter. The former officer, who had previously been investigated for sex crimes, confessed to killing the pair.
But when forensic teams searched his house about 48 miles (78km) north of the capital, San Salvador, they found at least seven pits containing bodies, some of which may have been buried as long as two years ago.
The authorities said the discovery suggested the existence of a murder ring that may have lasted for a decade.
At least 10 people are facing charges.
The suspects include former policemen, former soldiers and people smugglers, said Mauricio Arriaza Chicas, director of El Salvador’s national civil police, La Prensa newspaper reports.
He alleged Mr Osorio Chavez might have been killing people for a decade.