Thousands of guns lie on the ground before their destruction in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua State, Mexico on February 16, 2012. (AFP/Getty Images File Photo_
(TheBlaze/AP) -- Nineteen bodies have been discovered in Mexico's northern border state of Chihuahua, officials reported Sunday, including 11 apparently long-dead men found in mass graves and eight others who were tortured and killed in recent days.
The state prosecutor's office for missing people said 11 bodies were found in Ejido Jesus Carranza, near the U.S. border about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southeast of Ciudad Juarez. The area of sand dunes is a popular spot for picnickers from Juarez, which is just across the border from El Paso, Texas.
Officials said the male victims were apparently buried two years ago at the height of battles between drug gangs seeking to control routes across the border. Federal statistics showed more than 3,000 people were killed that year in Ciudad Juarez, a city of 1.4 million, making it one of the most dangerous places on earth.
Prosecutors also said that officials had found eight bodies tossed along a road near Rosales, about 120 miles (200 kilometers) southwest of Ojinaga, Texas. The agency said the men apparently were kidnapped on Friday and were discovered on Saturday. It said they had been shot in the head after being tortured. Some had been burned, beaten and had eyes carved out.