Priests, targets of violence in Mexico

In less than a week, in different parts of the country, two members of the Catholic church were killed

Priests, targets of violence in Mexico

In Mexico, two recent cases have caught the attention of public opinion, two priests were killed in different parts of the country in less than a week. The first murder occurred on April 18, when the priest Rubén Alcántara, judicial vicar of the Diocese of Cuautitlán Izcalli, was about to start the mass, in the town of the same name. in the State of Mexico. The only thing that became known about the case is that the priest was arguing with someone in his office, who allegedly wounded him with a knife and fled the scene. The town of Cuautitlán Izcalli is located in an area close to Mexico City and together with other nearby towns form a region with high levels of violence.

Leer en español: Sacerdotes, objetivos de la violencia en México

Neither the authorities, nor the Catholic Church has been able to give any explanation of the reasons for the murder of the religious, which has caused outrage. In the second case, on April 20, Juan Miguel Contreras García, parochial vicar of the temple of San Pío de Pietrelcina, located in the town of Tlajomulco in the state of Jalisco, was assassinated. The murderers entered the Catholic temple and wounded the priest with a firearm, which did not survive. This fact is one of the wave of violence that the state is experiencing. The Jalisco authorities, as in the case of Cuautitlán, are still investigating the cases.

Just in February two priests were killed in Taxco, a town located in the state of Guerrero. Iván Añorve Jaimes and Germaín Muñiz García were killed on the highway, when they were returning from a party to which, according to authorities, people belonging to organized crime came. Later, photographs of the priest Germaín Muñiz García were shown carrying a firearm, accompanied by armed persons belonging to criminal groups, for which his murder was related to organized crime, as a revenge of rival groups, although later the state government He retracted and awarded the fact to a problem that occurred at the party they attended.

According to the Catholic Multimedia Center of Mexico, 23 priests have been murdered in Mexico in the last six years. The causes have been diverse, for example in May 2017 a priest was stabbed inside the Metropolitan Cathedral in the heart of Mexico City, the man died days later. The aggressor identified as a foreigner was diagnosed with mental disorders. In other cases, such as Taxco, the religious have been related to organized crime, while in others the murders were related to the causes they defended.

Assures the priest Alejandro Solalinde, an activist who works with migrants in the south of the country, that the violence is focused on priests who carry out their work in marginalized communities to protect the rights of the most needy. Even Solalinde has been threatened on numerous occasions by the denunciations she has made about the conditions in which migrants travel, the abuses of authorities and the violence of which they are victims at the hands of criminal groups. Violence is concentrated in the Mexican cities that are called the most dangerous, which have this adjective not only at a national level, but at a worldwide level. Enrique Peña Nieto has recognized the flaws of his strategy against violence, which has grown in his government surpassing the levels of the Felipe Calderón government.


Latin American Post | Luis Liborio

Translated from "Sacerdotes, objetivos de la violencia en México"