Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

12 Priests Slain in Mexico Over Last 4 Years

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 |


EFE

A dozen priests have been murdered in Mexico since December 2006, the Catholic Multimedia Center, or CCM, said Wednesday.

The comparable figure for December 2000 to December 2006 was four.

Mexico accounts for 15 percent of killings of clergy in Latin America, well behind Colombia – with 40 percent of the total – and just ahead of Brazil, with 10 percent, the CCM said.

The spike in slayings of priests appears to be linked to the activity of organized crime and corrupt local political bosses, according to the CCM report.

The most dangerous jurisdictions for priests are Mexico City and the states of Chihuahua, which accounted for roughly a third of Mexico’s 15,000-plus drug-war deaths in 2010, and Guerrero, a largely poor, rural region where narcotics is one of the few dynamic sectors of the economy.

Attacks on priests inside their churches have markedly increased in the last 18 months, the CCM says, while a thousand clergymen were targeted by extortionists in 2010 and 162 received death threats.

Mexico’s Catholic bishops conference has authorized parish priests in particularly dangerous areas to suspend Masses if they deem it too risky to hold services.

Criminals running protection rackets are demanding as much as 10,000 pesos ($830) from priests to ensure their safety, one prelate said last year.

Hoping to curb the violence, the Catholic hierarchy threatens drug traffickers and kidnappers with excommunication, even as individual churches continue to accept “narco-charity” donations from kingpins.

In strongly Catholic Mexico, drug lords and other mobsters cultivate the appearance of piety and some even erect chapels to the underworld’s “patron saint,” possibly mythical bandit Jesus Malverde.

One high-ranking capo, Miguel Angel Beraza Villa of the La Familia Michoacana cartel, was arrested while attending a religious service.

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8 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Not surprising after reading about the churches taking money from the cartels.

Buela said...

4:52AM

Yours is such an ill-informed statement. I really hated the post about the church taking money from cartels because of the impression it left with people like you. While true the church (some) take money so does many poor churches of all faiths, schools and citizens that are desparate and make a regrettable choice.

They are not killed for what they TAKE, they are killed for;
WHAT THEY SAY
WHAT THEY DO
FAIL TO PAY EXTORTION QUOTAS

Priests are beaten, jailed and killed for speaking out against Narco violence;
for helping Central Am migrants (the only church that has shelter sources for CAs)
They are not exempt for extortion

like all things Mexico...it is not black and white

Anonymous said...

Bruja is a witch.
Brujo is a warlock.
Either way, the person would refer to herself or himself as a curandera/curandero. Bruja/brujo is a derogatory term that signifies that they practice evil spells or "black magic", whereas a curandera/curandero is more like a shaman or healer that does not use the powers for evil purposes.

Anonymous said...

I meant to put that comment about the term bruja/brujo with the Albuquerque article.

Anonymous said...

Buela-
People like me? Nice generalization you cranky old woman. You tell me the I'm dead wrong, proceed to tell me how things *really* are, then follow it up with "like all things Mexico...it is not black and white" Yeah, nice contradictions. Seems to me you're the one that sees this as black and white.
Back up your statement that no priests in mexico are killed for taking money with some facts. Oh wait, you can't because it's a BS blanket statement you made because you got hurt that i said something less than glowing about the church.

Anonymous said...

@9:18AM
"Nice generalization you cranky old woman"..lol
@7:52AM
The church has it's place and everyone is entitled to their opinion but the Catholic church doesn't exactly have a clean record. Bottom line is the drug cartels respect no one, including the church, killing/murdering a priest doesn't mean a whole lot, when these narco-terrorists are beheading, dismembering, and torturing people.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Buela, I have to disagree with you this time. The facts are very clear about the Church (meaning the Catholic Church) accepting large amounts of money from cartels and other criminals. This is not a matter of wondering whether the money in the collection plate came from honest sources. It is (was) a stated policy of the church to not question the source of funds.

The comments and stories about the church are not unique to the Catholic Church, but since the overwhelming majority of churches in Mexico, Central & South America are Catholic, it IS a fair discussion.

Remember, this is the same church that under Pope Pius, turned a blind eye to the Nazi atrocities in WWII.

Like everything else there is context, and you are right that things are not black and white, but don't deny the facts. These are unimpeachable because the Church admits them.

There are a lot of good people and a ton of great work, but even many of the good ones looked the other way when presented with an opportunity to secure funds to do their work.

These are undeniable facts, Buela and I think your lashing out was a little unfair.

Anonymous said...

As I predicted would happen ultimately the slow wheels of government are turning and we (The United States of America) and other technologically advanced countries are assisting Mexico in the apprehension and control of dangerous criminals with drone surveillance and wire tapping. Many more of these things to come and there is no escape for these hoodlums. I pray justice be done to all murders of children and clergy. There is no way criminal hoodlums could stop the power of the state in all its power if we but decide to use our resources to ultimately vanquish all of them. Outlaws are not worthy of democracy and all of its benefits. We will come to get all of you!!!!

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