Mexico’s drug war has been long and deadly, with tens of thousands of people being killed and hidden in secret graves.
Now, with the help of quadcopter drones, the mothers of the missing thousands are digging up graves they see from above, so families can finally have closure.
Roberto Carlos Casso Castro has been missing since 2011. He called his mother, Dr. Rosalia Castro Toss, while running errands and confirmed that he and his partner would be going to a family dinner the next day. They never showed up.
Roberto is one of an estimated 40,000 people who have gone missing in Mexico since 2006, at the start of the country’s war on drugs.
Most of the missing are victims of organized crime and corrupt state authorities.
Dr. Castro then did what any mother would do — go looking for answers.
She tracked down witnesses who saw her son’s car get cut off by a truck and then both her son and his partner being taken away in the truck. She dug up fields that were rumored to be body-dumping sites nearby but found nothing.
More than 200 people in Veracruz have come together to search for loved ones that have gone missing.
On Mother’s Day in 2016, they were protesting the corrupt and stagnant government when a man came and gave them a hand-drawn map. It was a gift from a cartel.
The map led to sandy dunes at the end of a road, beyond a neighborhood and through a pasture.
Authorities had previously searched the plot, but obviously not well.
Over the past three years, the Solecito mothers have unearthed over 300 victims using maps and drones to find land disturbances.
The site, now called Colinas de Santa Fe, is the largest mass grave in Mexican history.
The mothers are still digging.