Human Rights and Civil Society

Mexican Episcopal Conference demands justice in killing of minister, two seminarians in Guerrero

The Mexican Episcopal Conference (Conferencia del Episcopado Mexicano, CEM), is demanding justice in the killings of father Habacuc Hernández and seminarians Eduardo Oregón Benítez and Silvestre González, who were shot dead with high-caliber rifles on their way to a meeting in Ciudad Altamirano in the state of Guerrero.

The archbishops of Tijuana and Acapulco suggested that the murders could be reprisal for recent condemnations by religious leaders of narcotraffickers. Rafael Romo Muñoz, archbishop of Tijuana, said that the Catholic Church in Mexico has not been threatened by cartels due to their shared faith and drug traffickers’ “religious fanaticism,” which stops them short of attacking those they see as protecting them.

For his part, the archbishop of Acapulco, Felipe Aguirre Franco, denounced not only the recent wave of violence in his state, but also the inability of troop deployments to effectively address what he termed a “war without end.”

In a meeting with Catholic leaders, Guerrero mayor Zeferino Torreblanca Galindo promised to vigorously pursue the case. To date, no suspects or motive have been identified, and there is no sign yet that the Federal Attorney General’s Office will investigate the case.

From the June Justice in Mexico Project’s Monthly News Report:

Gutiérrez, Noemí. “Episcopado Mexicano exige castiguen a homicidas de sacerdotes.” El Universal June 15, 2009.
“Se comprometen a investigar triple asesinato en Guerrero.” El Financiero June 15, 2009.

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