Bodies Found In Mexican Well Believed To Be Those Of Slain Surfers.

Photo credit: BBC video clip. Police in Mexico have set up a crime scene around an abandoned well, where bodies are believed to have been found.
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Three bodies were found in Mexico’s Baja California State on Friday, where two  Australian surfers and an American friend went missing during a vacation trip in a part of Mexico that has gathered a reputation for a high level of gang crime and violence.

“We confirm there were three individuals found deceased in Santo Tomas, Baja California,” said a statement from the FBI’s office in San Diego, California. However, the agency did not identify the victims.

An Australian reporter has been on the scene and she spoke to BBC News about how she had been to the area of the investigation.

These killings have raised controversy between those who say that Mexico is much too dangerous to visit, and those who say that it is generally safe. One commenter called @aimeegarcia8638 on the BBC’s YouTube report said:

“For all of those people that are saying not to come to Mexico let me share with you some context. I am from Ensenada, the place where all of this happened. People here too feel devastated by the news, this isn’t “normal” for us. The exact location where (unfortunately) they decided to go surfing is quite far from the city, not a common tourist place and very isolated.

“Much of that coastline is mostly populated by americans who retired and currently live there. Here, as in any other country one must be cautious and be properly informed before traveling; I wouldn’t go camping there for example. My husband and I travel all around our country every holiday, we’ve visited most states (of Mexico) and nothing has ever happened to us.

“Mexico is full of beautiful places and kind people everywhere. It’s so sad that it gets misjudged by events as unfortunate as these. I’m not denying that there are dangers, of course there are, but again, one can be careful and chose not to take certain risks.”

Mexican forensic examiners and emergency workers were trying to recover evidence found at the scene on Friday, news agency AP reported, citing an anonymous employee of the state prosecutors’ office.

The site is near the township of Santo Tomás, south of Ensenada — the area where local media reported three bodies were found. Mexican news outlets reported that the bodies were found relatively close to the area where three foreigners went missing last week.

Judging by pictures that have been published in news media, the three bodies were found in an abandoned well, together with another body that had been there for much longer. The bodies have not yet been officially identified.

Australian brothers Jake and Callum Robinson and their American friend Jack Carter have been missing since April 27, when they were on a surfing and camping trip near the coastal city of Ensenada in the northwestern state of Baja California. One of the two Australian brothers lives in San Diego, California, just to the north of the coastline where the tragic scene has been found.

In a Facebook post, the brothers’ mother Debra Robinson said the trio never arrived at their planned accommodation there.

The city of Ensenada is 30 miles away from where the three bodies were discovered.

On Thursday, Baja California state authorities said three Mexican nationals were being questioned in connection with the disappearances.

María Elena Andrade Ramírez, the chief state prosecutor, did not say whether the three people questioned were considered possible suspects or witnesses in the case. She did, however, mention that some were tied directly to the case and it has been reported that a cell phone associated with one of the victims was found in possession of a Mexican woman.

Andrade Ramírez also said they had found evidence along with the abandoned tents earlier in the day, which was linked to the three being questioned.

“A working team [of investigators] is at the site where they were last seen, where tents and other evidence was found that could be linked to these three people we have under investigation,” Andrade Ramírez had said on Thursday.

“There is a lot of important information that we can’t make public. We do not know what condition they are in,” she said at the time.

“All lines of investigation are open at this time. We cannot rule anything out until we find them,” she said, acknowledging that drug cartels are active in the region.

The investigation is being coordinated with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Australian and US consulates.

Baja California — known for its inviting beaches, is also one of Mexico’s most violent states because of organized crime cartel activity, however the violence is usually internecine between criminal groups and not aimed at foreign residents or tourists.

Sources: DW/AFP/ AP/BBC
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