Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Third kidnapped priest found murdered in Mexico

fr-jose-alfredo-lopez-guillenA Mexican priest who was abducted last week from his parish has been found dead – the third priest to be murdered in Mexico in the past two weeks.

Fr José Alfredo Lopez Guillen was robbed before being kidnapped from his home in the western Mexican state of Michoacan, according to Church officials.

The priest’s car was reported missing, as well as some items from his parish church.

The state of Michoacan has been plagued by drug-related violence.

The 43 year old had been murdered several days before his body was found according to the results of a post-mortem examination.

Friends described Fr Guillén as a dedicated and quiet priest who neither drank nor smoked and lived very simply.

His murder follows the killing of two priests who were found dead in the state of Veracruz.
According to Mexican prosecutors, Fr Alejo Nabor Jimenez and Fr Alfredo Suarez de la Cruz were acquainted with their assailants, and were meeting socially with them before the crime.

When the bullet-riddled bodies of the two priests were discovered on 19 September, suspicions turned towards local drug gangs that have been trying violently to control the territory around Veracruz.

Catholic priests in Mexico have often been the targets of robbery and extortion.

Mexico is the second-largest Catholic country in the world with up to 83 percent of its 120 million citizens declaring themselves as Catholic.

As many as 30 priests have been killed violently in the last decade and that figure has now risen to 33 over the past ten days.

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