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Trailer filled with more than 150 corpses is stored near homes in Mexico

A police officer walks past an abandoned trailer full of bodies in Tlajomulco de Zuniga, Jalisco, Mexico (Picture: Reuters)

Residents in Mexico have vented their anger after it emerged more than 150 corpses were being stored in a trailer near their homes.

Authorities rented the container after mortuaries in the city of Guadalajara were all full, and laws prevent the cremation of bodies linked to violent crime.

The refrigerated container, containing 157 bodies, was initially parked at a warehouse in the neighbourhood of Duraznera, but after two weeks residents there complained of a foul smell and said the trailer was attracting flies.

It was then transported to the suburb of Tlajomulco de Zúñiga, but residents there complained of the stench at the weekend.

“We have a lot of children in this neighbourhood. It could make us all sick,” said resident José Luis Tovar.

“We don’t want it here. They need to put it somewhere else, it stinks.”

On Monday, the trailer was moved to a warehouse near Jalisco state prosecutor’s office in Guadalajara.

Local authorities say they are searching for a long-term solution after a recent wave of violence.

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“We ran out of cemetery plots where we could bury them,” said Luis Octavio Cotero, head of the Jalisco forensic investigators unit.

More than 200,000 people have been killed or have disappeared in Mexico in the past 12 years after the government tried to tackle organised crime.

Like other parts of Mexico, Jalisco is suffering from a crime wave that led to a record 31,000 homicides in 2017. The state is home to one of Mexico’s most violent and powerful drug gangs, Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

Officials recorded 16,339 homicides across Mexico in the first seven months of this year, an increase of 17 percent from the same period of 2017.

The surging numbers of deaths has overwhelmed Jalisco’s morgue and work is underway on a new facility that would hold 700 bodies in its first phase, the state’s general secretary Roberto Lopez said.

“When it is built, these bodies will be transferred,” Mr Lopez said. He added that the new facility will be completed in a month and a half.

On Monday, Mr Lopez acknowledged that the use of the truck showed a lack of respect and promised to launch an investigation.

The government “will not tolerate displays of indifference or laziness,” he wrote on his Twitter account.

The identity of the bodies was not immediately clear and how they died, although Mr Lopez was reported in Mexican media as saying they were unidentified victims of organised crime.