Outrage in Mexico as Priests Become Targets of Organized Crime

Priest in Mexico/Catholicism
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

The high profile murders appear to have no end in Mexico as the country now rallies around the kidnapping and murder of a Catholic priest in the violent Mexican State of Guerrero; the priest is the third religious man to be murdered in that state this year and just one of many kidnapped priests.

Just before Christmas, a group of gunmen kidnapped Gregorio “Father Goyito” Lopez from the seminary in the Mexican town of Altamirano Guerrero, a news release by the diocese where they pleaded for his safe return revealed.

Sadly enough authorities later discovered the body of Father Goyito with a single gunshot wound to the head in a case that still remains unsolved. Preliminary information released by Guerrero’s Attorney General’s Office shows that the gunmen may have been after donation money that had been collected at the seminary.

The outrage in Mexico that has led to protests comes after clergy men appear to be easy targets in Mexico; just three months before Father Goyito’s murder unknown gunmen kidnapped and executed Father Ascencion Acuna Osorio in a crime that still remains unsolved.

Similarly John Ssenyando, a missionary from Uganda who had been working in Guerrero was kidnapped by gunmen in April and his body was found months later in October when federal police officers were searching for mass graves looking for the bodies of 43 education students who were kidnapped by police officers and then executed by cartel members.

“Historically the church has occasionally found itself in cartel crosshairs, but not as brutally and frequently as in the past few years,” said Breitbart Texas Contributing Editor and Border Expert Sylvia Longmire. “While cartels are notorious for eliminating public figures who oppose them and stand in the way of their business practices, more traditional traffickers are still mostly Catholic and prefer to avoid targeting the clergy. However, newer and younger cartel-affiliated gangs seem to have no such qualms, lending credence to the notion that Mexico’s cartels have long evolved beyond the traditional confines of the ‘organized crime’ label.”

A recently released report by the Multimedia Catholic Center (CCM) noted that since Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto took office, 8 priests have been murdered and two others have never been heard from again.

The religious group noted in their report released to the Catholic Church that Mexico is the most dangerous country for priests in Latin America with 47 murder attempts on clergy members since 1990. Of those attempts, the victims have been one cardinal, 34 priests, a deacon, 3 brothers, 5 laymen working for the church and a journalist working for a catholic publication.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.