09/29/2016 Los Angeles Times
They gather shortly after daybreak outside a mini-market, the tropical heat thickening, the dawn haze in lethargic retreat. They hug and catch up, purchase water and snacks for the upcoming ordeal. New volunteers are welcomed.
“You’re not alone,” Lucia Diaz, a leader of the group, assures a young woman on her inaugural outing. “We are all sharing in this together.”
They lug basics: shovels, machetes, hammers, a metal rod to test the earth, a portable canopy to block the broiling sun. Diaz and about 15 others head off in several pickups, passing a police guard and arriving at a mosquito-infested field where everyone sprays on repellent and dons masks and gloves for the grisly task ahead.
Their objective: human remains, long buried, now emerging from the earth, providing clues to unspeakable fates.