Crime & Justice

Two Jesuit priests killed in northern Mexico laid to rest

Cerocahui, Mexico, Jun 27 (EFE).- Two Jesuit priests were on Monday laid to rest in the lawn of the church where they were killed by a gunman a week ago in Cerocahui in Mexico’s northern state of Chihuahua.

Javier Campos and Joaquín Mora’s burial, which took place after 2pm in the San Francisco Javier church, was led by other Jesuit priests and attended by parishioners who placed flowers on the coffins.

Also killed in the attack was tour guide Pedro Palma, who was buried in an small ceremony on Thursday.

A mass was offered for Father Gallo and Father Morita – as they were known in the region of Sierra Tarahumara where they worked – followed by applause and the ringing of the bells.

Chihuahua governor Maru Campos attended the ceremony, which took place amid heavy police deployment.

Campos, 79, and Mora, 80, were slain last Monday while trying to protect Palma, who ran into the church to escape an armed pursuer. Their bodies were taken by the attacker, but recovered days later.

Urique, where the town of Cerocahui is located, and the surrounding municipalities have been under heavy police and military presence since Jun. 21, as the attacker has not yet been found.

The killings have been condemned by civil organizations and the Jesuit community in Mexico, which highlighted that at least seven priests have been killed during the administration of current President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who took office in December 2018.

Mexico has been experiencing a wave of violence with a record of 33,316 murders so far this year following the two most violent years in its history, with 34,688 killings in 2019 and 34,554 in 2020.

According to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi), the perception of insecurity among Mexicans increased from 65.8 percent in December 2021 to 66.2 percent in March. EFE


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