Diplomats in Mexico have begun the grim task of identifying 72 migrants killed in the worst massacre in the country’s escalating drug war.
Investigators say about 15 bodies out of the group slain at a ranch near the US border have been named.
It is believed the victims from South and Central America had been making their way to the US when they were captured by the notorious Zetas drugs cartel.
Central American governments close to Mexico are demanding swift action.
Honduran Vice President Maria Antonieta de Bogran said: ‘‘We ask the Mexican authorities to do their utmost to stop the abuses, extortion and violations which Central American migrants face in their journey to the United States.’‘
In a bid to catch the killers and deflect criticism Mexico’s government has sent more elite troops to the drug-hit border region.
Many of the victims appear to have been blindfolded and bound before they were lined up against a wall and gunned down.
The sole survivor of the massacre, an 18 year-old Ecuadorian man who escaped after being shot, has said the hostages were killed after refusing to pay ransoms or act as hit men for the gang.
On Thursday, his family told Ecuador television he had left his remote town in the Andes mountains two months ago in the hope of finding work in the United States.