Relatives of 12 people kidnapped in a bar in May protest on August 23, 2013 in front of the Mexican Attorney General offices in Mexico City. At least five bodies unearthed from a mass grave near Mexico City were identified August 23, 2013 as part of a group of 12 youths kidnapped from a downtown bar in May. (Photo credit: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)
TLALMANALCO, Mexico - The bodies were headless and covered in lime and asbestos, hidden under a thick concrete slab - young men and women not seen since they went out partying in an upscale area of Mexico's capital nearly three months ago.
As the families of 12 missing youths settled in Saturday for an anguished wait for DNA identification, they and others said this week's discovery at a muddy mass grave east of Mexico City was bitter vindication for those who have said all along that the city's top law-enforcement officials downplayed the disappearances and were at best incompetent in trying to find their loved ones.
The bodies were only found once federal investigators stepped in - after waiting impatiently for local police to make progress.