Beneath Mexico lies the grim toll of the country's brutal drug war.
In recent years Mexican authorities have uncovered 201 so-called fosas clandestinas or “clandestine graves,” containing 662 decaying bodies and piled bones of mostly unidentified victims of what appears to be violence related to the drug war and human-trafficking networks.
The following map, based on a data set provided by the Mexican government under a freedom of information request, attempts to visualize the spread of drug war violence by locating unmarked graves where human remains have been found in recent years. The data, although official, is most likely incomplete. Some media reports and watchdog organizations suggest there are far more unmarked grave sites and corpses than the government is admitting to.
Given the unreliability of drug war statistics, this map is not intended to be definitive. But with Pope Francis expected to address narco violence during his visit to Mexico next week, this map offers a snapshot of the legacy of death that the drug war is leaving across the country.
Full methodology explained below.