Pope Francis mourns Jesuit priests killed in Mexico

Pope Francis has lamented the spiral of violence engulfing Mexico, after two Jesuit priests and a person looking for sanctuary had been gunned down inside a church.

The pope, himself a Jesuit, expressed disappointment and dismay over the killings of males he referred to as his “brothers” in the mountains of the northern state of Chihuahua.

“So many murders in Mexico. I am close, in affection and prayer, to the Catholic community affected by this tragedy,” the pontiff mentioned on the finish of his weekly viewers on the Vatican.

Priests Javier Campos, 79, and Joaquin Mora, 81, had been shot useless in the city of Cerocahui on Monday “while trying to defend a man who was seeking refuge,” in response to the order also called the Society of Jesus.

The pursued man, who labored as a tour information, was additionally killed and his physique taken away with these of the 2 priests.

About 30 priests have been killed in Mexico in the previous decade, in response to the Centro Catolico Multimedial, a Catholic organisation.

More than 340,000 folks have been killed in a wave of bloodshed in Mexico for the reason that authorities deployed the military to struggle drug cartels in 2006.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador mentioned that the alleged assassin had been recognized and {that a} manhunt was below method.

The suspect, who was recognized by one other priest current in the church, was already needed for the homicide of a US vacationer in 2018, he instructed reporters.

“That area of the mountains has for some time been infiltrated, penetrated, dominated by crime,” Mr Lopez Obrador mentioned.

The three our bodies had been positioned in the again of a pickup truck by armed males, lined with plastic and brought away, in response to Father Luis Gerardo Moro Madrid, head of the Jesuits in Mexico.

“We demand justice and the recovery of the bodies,” the order mentioned.

Experts say Chihuahua is a crucial transit route for unlawful medication sure for the US and violently contested between rival trafficking gangs.

Father Jorge Atilano Gonzalez, additionally a Jesuit, instructed an area tv station the priests killed on Monday had tried to intervene as a result of they knew the assailant, who was from the realm.

“He wanted to confess” after the capturing, he mentioned, citing the testimony of the third priest current.

“What we believe is that he was in a state of alcoholism or addiction because of the reaction he had,” he added.

‘Important social work’

The workplace of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico condemned the killings, saying the priests had carried out “important social and pastoral work” among the many Raramuri, or Tarahumara, Indigenous folks.

“The murder of these two well-known priests reminds us of the situation of extreme violence and vulnerability faced by the communities of the Sierra Tarahumara in Chihuahua,” mentioned UN human rights consultant Guillermo Fernandez-Maldonado.

The Mexican Episcopal Conference referred to as for a fast investigation in addition to elevated safety for the nation’s clergy.

It is widespread for non secular leaders in Mexico to behave as defenders of their communities and as mediators with prison gangs working there.

In states corresponding to Michoacan and Guerrero, some have even entered into dialogue with drug traffickers in a bid to maintain the peace in largely poor areas with little authorities presence.

primarily based on web site supplies www.rte.ie

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