A mass grave of men, apparently buried at the height of Mexico’s drug war, was found in Chihuahua this past weekend.

The 11 corpses buried two years ago were found the same weekend eight other bodies were found of men who had recently been tortured and killed, authorities said Sunday.

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 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.

At least 50,000 have been killed since the bloody drug war began in 2006, according to official estimates – though experts believe the number is much higher.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press. 

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