Posted on January 28, 2013 at 10:09 AM
MONTERREY, Mexico—At least eight bodies were pulled from a well in northern Mexico on Sunday near the site where 20 people went missing late last week, including members of a Colombian-style band, according to a state forensic official.
The Nuevo Leon State Investigative Agency was still working late into the night at the well in a vacant lot in the town of Mina near the northern Mexican city of Monterrey, and the body count could rise, said the official.
He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case.
The official could not confirm whether the bodies belonged to 16 members of Kombo Kolombia and their crew, who were reported missing early Friday after playing a private show in a bar late Thursday in the next town, Hidalgo.
Authorities had been searching for two days when they came upon the well Sunday afternoon.
People living near the bar in Hidalgo municipality north of Monterrey reported hearing gunshots about 4 a.m. Friday, following by the sound of vehicles speeding away, said a source with the state agency. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to be quoted by the news media.
The officials added that gunfire is common in the area, and said investigators found spent bullets nearby.
Relatives filed an official report about their missing loved ones on Friday, after they lost cellular telephone contact with them following the Thursday night performance. When family members went to the bar to investigate, they found the band members’ vehicles still parked outside.
For three years, Kombo Kolombia has played a Colombian style of music known as vallenato, which is popular in Nuevo Leon state. Most of the group’s musicians were from the area, and have held large concerts in addition to bar performances.
Nuevo Leon state officials said one of those missing is a Colombian citizen with Mexican residency.
Members of other musical bands, usually groups that performed “narcocorridos” celebrating the exploits of drug traffickers, have been killed in Mexico in recent years. But Kombo Kolombia did not play that type of music and its lyrics did not deal with violence or drug trafficking.