Abandoned graves leads to disturbing trend

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by Angela Kocherga / 3TV Border Bureau

azfamily.com

Posted on October 31, 2012 at 10:30 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 2 at 8:21 PM

SAN LUIS DE LA PAZ, Mexico -- Traditionally families gather in cemeteries to honor their dearly departed on the Day of the Dead, but some have stopped visiting grave sites.

There is a troubling trend in Central Mexico about what happens to some of those abandoned graves.

Abandoned graves are becoming more common as many people leave for the U.S. to look for work. And when some stopped paying cemetery dues, problems occur.

A video on YouTube shows gravediggers removing a casket.  Though described as San Luis de la Paz we have no way to confirm where or when the video was shot.  We won't show you the rest. It ends with workers stuffing the skeletal remains of a woman into a garbage bag.

"I know the people talk about that. So it's true? That's true. That's true," said Baruch Moreno Elias, a resident of San Luis de la Paz.

And local residents said it's happened to several immigrant families. We saw numerous empty spots in the mausoleum that once held bodies.

So what happened? Why did people stop visiting their dearly departed? There are a variety of reasons. Economic problems, tighter immigration controls, even drug violence in some regions of Mexico.

"I want to be here and take care of my family," said one resident.

He wanted to be here to take care of his family so this former immigrant came back to Mexico. After years working in Texas, he saved money to start a small business. But for many that is an elusive dream, and their absence is reflected in hometown cemeteries.

The Day of the Dead celebrations begin tomorrow, which is a day to remember children. Friday is in honor of adults. The holiday is gaining popularity on this side of the border as well with many events planned in Phoenix.

 

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