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News > Latin America

Two Priests Attacked, Killed in Mexico

  • Detail from the truck the priests were travelling in when armed people shot them in Guerrero, Mexico. February 5, 2018

    Detail from the truck the priests were travelling in when armed people shot them in Guerrero, Mexico. February 5, 2018 | Photo: EFE

Published 6 February 2018

Priests in Mexico are a common target for organized crime. In the last five years, 21 priests have been killed.

Ivan Añorve Jaimes, 37, and German Muñiz Garcia, 39, who served as a priest in Las Vigas and Mezcala, respectively, were among six people murdered yesterday, according to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Acapulco.


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According to a survivor, the priests were returning from Juliantla when a vehicle got in their way along the Taxco-Iguala road, stopping and shooting at them. A teacher and other persons were also killed, while two people are said to have survived the attack.

A spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Chilpancingo-Chilapa, a suffragan diocese of Acapulco, Benito Cuenca, condemned the attack and called for the religious instructors to be careful, as threats against priests have been frequent in recent times. Cuenca also demanded a detailed investigation be done since six priests have been killed in Guerrero in the last five years.

A stolen truck was found about a kilometer away from where the attack took place with a military-green cartridge belt and a holster inside.

The priests were returning from a spiritual retreat celebrating the Candlemas, also known as the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus, a Christian Holy Day commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the Temple.

“Let's pray to the Lord for the conversion of those who, forgetting we're brothers, commit this kind of crime that hurts human dignity so much, takes away the holy gift of life and sows pain and suffering in the family and the society,”  the Acapulco Archdiocese said an open letter.

According to the Help, the Church in Need Pontifical Foundation, about 60 priests have been killed in the last 25 years in Mexico, without a known cause, 21 have been killed in the last five years alone.

Guerrero is one of Mexico's most dangerous states, with clashes among drug cartels and Mexican authorities. Some towns have organized community police forces to counter violence.

Omar Sotelo, from the Multimedia Catholic Center, said one of the priests was a singer and a composer. “It's a mining zone, a conflict zone,” said Sotelo.

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