Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Evangelical pastor kidnapped in Michoacan, held for $20 million ransom

Pastor Josué Ramírez Santiago.

Michoacan state church leader abducted during Sunday service.


Some 500 worshippers were gathered for last Sunday’s (April 10) worship service at the Christian Center El Shaddai in the Mexican city of Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacan at about 8:15 a.m. when four masked men burst in firing machine guns into the air.

Before the frightened followers realized what was happening, their pastor, Josué Ramírez Santiago, had been whisked away. Divergent press reports indicated the kidnappers, suspected drug traffickers active in the state, were about 10 in number.

The following day, the pastor’s family received news that the criminals wanted a ransom of $20 million pesos. Even if the family could raise such an immense sum – considered doubtful – payment would not guarantee that the victim would be returned alive.

Arturo Farela, director of the National Fraternity of Evangelical Churches, has asserted that organized crime syndicates and drug cartels have targeted Christians because they view churches as revenue centers and because churches support programs for the rehabilitation of drug addicts and alcoholics.

“The majority of rehabilitation centers that have been attacked by organized crime in Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana, Tepic and other places belong to the evangelical community,” Farela said in a declaration regarding the kidnapping of Ramirez. “Furthermore, some 100 Mexican or foreign pastors who lived in Ciudad Juarez have had to abandon the city because of the threats and demands for money. And of course many pastors and their families have been victims of extortion, threats, kidnapping and homicide.”

Farela has stated that 100 Mexican clergymen have been kidnapped in recent years, with 15 of them losing their lives to organized crime. Asked if Compass could review his records of these crimes, Farela said he was not authorized to permit it.

In numerous other cases, children of pastors have been kidnapped, including one from Matehuala, San Luis Potosi, who has not been heard from for some six months. The college-age daughter of a prominent pastor in Mexico City was held by kidnappers for a week but was released when the criminals grew tired of the father’s prayers every time they telephoned him; the family has not revealed whether money was given for her return.

Photo: Cambio de Michoacan

Source: Compass Direct News:


  1. We all hope the pastor will be released unharmed, but the kidnapping might have been prevented if even a dozen men in that congregation of hundreds were armed. When will Mexico allow its citizens to arm themselves? When guns are banned, only the criminals will have them. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. Mexicans CAN'T be that stupid . . . can they?

  2. Where is your god now?

  3. What a bunch of sorry losers assholes.
    Messing with one of Gods mesengers is a real , real bad idea!
    Piss him off and his wrath will be upon you and there will be no god for them to scream to. Sorry Motherfuckers!!
    May God strike them down and those around them that they cherish, and give them a straight trip directly to hells fires and misery

  4. funny i dont remember hearing the same kind of support when catholics are harmed?

  5. Kidnapping a pastor right in the middle of church services?

    I am speechless... God help them...

  6. I will be praying for pastor Ramirez Santiago* along with all the other pastors and people in general that are being terrorized in Mexico... He is in God's hands, whether the cartel realizes this or not. HIS will be done! Amen

  7. Drug related?? I don't think so. Mexico is lawless, it is either incompitent,or is complicent, as a country you have got to look all the way to Africa to see such utter Chaos. DRUG GANGS have killed more of each other, than the govt has arrested or killed. You would think that the Mexican law enforcment could make somekind of showing.

  8. 4 masked men vs. 500 hundred people?

    Do common Mexicans fight for anything?


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