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

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Mexican Priests: Danger Persists, 2 Killed in Veracruz, Chapo's Message

Borderland Beat
Cardinal Rivera gives mass at Santa Martha prison heavily guarded by a ring of police
Catholic Priests in hot areas of Mexico have spoken out against cartels, and the government allowing impunity.  Their rehab operations and Casa Migrantes (migrant shelters) have come under attack, and death threats are delivered on a regular basis, but extortion is something relatively new. Since 2010 I have worked with the Casa Migrante shelters (honoring the 72 migrants slaughtered in Tamaulipas) and have gained a deep respect for the priests of Mexico. ...Chivis

The threatening calls reportedly came one after the other to Mexico's main Catholic seminary.
Callers, claiming to be from one of the country's feared drug cartels, offered an ominous warning: Pay up if you value the safety of your priests.

"They called several times. They identified themselves as the Familia Michoacana, but who knows?" Cardinal Norberto Rivera, archbishop of Mexico City, revealed at a Mass this week. "I spoke with the authorities. We made the appropriate report. Because they wanted us to pay. Because if not, they would kill one of us. They wanted to extort 60,000 pesos ($4,600)."
The long outspoken, migrant rights activist priest Alejandro Solalinde of Oaxaca
 (Hermanos de el Camino Shelter)had to flee Mexico temporarily after numerous death threats.
Reports of extortion have become increasingly common as drug cartels expand their reach in Mexico. But public denouncements of such attempts are rare.

Rivera called on parishioners to report extortion to authorities, and he urged them not to pay.
His description Sunday of the extortion attempts and a statement denouncing drug violence give a glimpse into the problems faced by a Catholic Church often caught in the crossfire of warring cartels and government efforts to stop them.

In the country's capital alone, more than 10 priests have been threatened with extortion, said the Reverend Hugo Valdemar Romero, a spokesman for the archdiocese.
"None of them have paid," he told CNN. "Last year, two extortionists were arrested."

It's not uncommon for individual parishes to face extortion threats, he said. But the calls last month to the Seminary of the Archdiocese of Mexico marked the first time such a large church-run institution in the capital had been targeted, Romero said.
Mexico's Catholic priests have long struggled with how to deal with spiraling drug violence and cartel culture.

In addition to widespread extortion attempts by gangs, church officials have said clergy have received threatening notes and telephone calls after sermons against drug use and trafficking.
In 1993, Cardinal Juan Posadas Ocampo was gunned down in the parking lot of an airport in Guadalajara, Mexico. Authorities said a drug gang had confused him with a rival trafficker, but some church leaders claimed he was targeted for denouncing drug trafficking.
In 2009, Hector Gonzalez, the archbishop of the northern state of Durango, raised fears of attacks on the clergy after he said that Mexico's most wanted man, Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, lived in a Durango town and that "everybody knows it except the authorities."

Days later, investigators found the bodies of two slain military lieutenants in mountains nearby, accompanied by a note: "Neither the government nor priests can handle El Chapo."
Gonzalez quickly backed away from his comments, telling reporters who asked him about them, "I am deaf and dumb."
This year, even as government officials have suggested that drug-related violence could be on the decline, church leaders have warned that priests and the congregations they serve remain at risk.

Various articles of a few other incidents regarding killings and threats against of priest below:
Migrants line up to receive supplies we brought to the Saltillo Shelter, a death threat came in the next day The following article is one I wrote in 2012 when the Saltillo threats occurred
Reinforcing security at the Casa del Migrante
by Chivis Martinez (2012)
For over a week death threats have been received at one of the migrant shelters in Saltillo. Death threats have been delivered against the managers of the shelter.

Father Pedro Pantoja has also received death threats, but it has not been made clear by authorities  who is issuing the threats or why. 
Over one week ago I heard about the threats, and at that time I was told the threats were against the entire shelter and everyone in the shelter.  It now appears to be more specific than first thought.
Reports state:
Authorities announced that different state police forces are guarding Casa del Migrante, after the death threats they have received against several of its executives.
"We are investigating the death threats he received in recent days by  Father Pedro Pantoja de la Casa del Migrante," the Attorney General of the State (PGJE).

 In a statement, the agency added that "The relevant inquiry PGJE started and is gathering evidence to identify the source of these threats.."
On Tuesday, Amnesty International (AI) and the Network of Civil Human Rights All Rights for All (Red TDT) called for the intervention of state authorities at the increasing threats of staff working at the shelter.
Shelters and Priests operating shelters are frequently under attack by cartels.  They oppose safe havens for economic migrants as migrants they are a valuable resource for criminal organizations. Aside from extortion, they are forced into criminal activities,  recruited into cartels, or exploited and used for other the drug criminal activities such as  the sex trade.
 June 2012 Alejandro Solalinde Mexico's most outspoken priest against cartels
Fr. Solalinde opened his modest shelter in 2007, 400 migrants sought refuge that first night.  As he became known, he became the target of cartels.

In January 2007,  a group of 18 undocumented immigrants,  mostly Guatemalans, were kidnapped in Ixtepec. A hundred migrants, outraged, surrounded the house where they were held  captive. The corrupt municipal police arrived, but not to rescue the hostages, but to disperse  the migrants who were assaulted with tear gas. Several of them were arrested, including the priest Solalinde, the kidnappers were not arrested.

"The greatest challenge that I must overcome is the intimidation, the harassment, and the constant lack of respect from people who do not want my work helping migrants to succeed. Many local authorities, gangs, and drug traffickers would love to free themselves from the defenders of human rights."....

OAXACA, Mexico When the Rev. Alejandro Solalinde chose to dedicate himself seven years ago to helping Central and South American migrants traveling to the United States, he was an obscure country priest and the migrants moved in the shadows. .

Since then, both Father Solalinde and the plight of the people he serves have emerged into a very public light.

The crimes the migrants face — extortion, rape, kidnapping and murder — have become so brazen and brutal that Mexicans can no longer ignore them. As the horrors have multiplied, Father Solalinde’s demands for the migrants’ protection have begun to resonate.

His insistence that the authorities pursue the criminals preying on migrants and his accusations that the police and politicians protect and even aid the gangs have also turned him into a target.
In May, after receiving six death threats in two months, he decided to take precautions. He left Mexico, traveled through North America and Europe, and then spent a few weeks resting in the Mexican city of Guadalajara.

Father Solalinde, 67, did not stay away for long, though. He returned this week to his beloved state of Oaxaca, where he runs a shelter in Ciudad Ixtepec, a sweltering railroad town where migrants wait to scramble atop cargo trains that will take them on the next leg of their wearying trip to the United States.

More migrants will be arriving, he said, pushed by poverty and violence at home. A long-suspended train service directly from the Guatemalan border is being renewed. “That means the merchandise is coming, the captive customers,” … full article here
  January 2012:
 Father Genaro Díaz of the parish of the Immaculate Conception, located in Atizapán, Mexico, was killed Saturday morning in the presbytery.

Bishop Héctor Luis Morales Sánchez of the Diocese of Nezahualcóyotl lamented the priest's death at the hands of criminal gangs.

November 29, 2013 A Mexican Roman Catholic diocese says a parish priest and his vicar have been murdered in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz. The diocese of Tuxpan said in a statement that the head of Ixhuatlan de Madero parish, Rev. Hipolito Villalobos, and vicar Rev. Nicolas De la Cruz were found dead Friday.

The church said the priests were killed in the parish but did not provide any more details. The Archdiocese of Xalapa that has jurisdiction over the parish says they are co-operating with authorities. Officials say four suspects have been detained for full article here
A group of Mexico's Catholic bishops have said they plan to discuss the violence with Pope Francis during a visit to the Vatican next year.
For most of his 70 years, Hesiquio Trevizo has been a man of good will, preaching the word of God. These days, the Roman Catholic priest is a self-described capitan de la guerra -- a war veteran.

That he should feel so within the confines of the sanctuary tells all about the violence and pervasive fear that have gripped the border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

"None of us are entirely safe from organized crime. Not even priests," Trevizo says.

He laughs, awkwardly. Trepidation leaks out with every word.

Perhaps the most important aspect of his job as a priest makes him a potential target for organized crime. Criminals know that grisly details of violence have spilled out in the privacy of the confessional, and crime bosses would rather not have those details repeated or full article here and an article about another of the 120 priests in Juarez read that article here

The killing last weekend of a Catholic priest and two seminary students in southwest Mexico marked the first time that drug cartel hit men have purposefully targeted a clergyman, said Manuel Corral, public relations secretary for Mexico’s Council of Bishops.

The Rev. Habacuc Hernandez Benitez, 39, was gunned down as he traveled in a vehicle in the town of Arcelia in the state of Guerrero, together with two seminary students, Eduardo Oregon Benitez, 19, and Silvestre Gonzalez Cambron, 21.
“In this case the drug traffickers followed them and ambushed them,” said Corral, who declined to name which cartel is suspected behind the full article here
CNN Mexico-Fox Latino-ElDiario-El Paso Times


  1. A BUNKER has been installed around the Mexican Senate to allow the thief that mexico has for a president, Enrique Perna Nieto, to change the Mexican constitution to allow him to sell the country's oil right so he and his cronies get a cut. Expect massive illegal immigration from Mexico since that is what keeps Mexico running half-ass smooth. Why would a government need a bunker around its Senate if it was NOT doing something against its people's will? Thanks to the US and big oil company's pressure on the thief that got the presidency by pure force is that now he has to sellout the Mexican citizens. Just remember that old quote, "What you plant now, you will harvest later."

  2. A country who nationalizes it's main resource has never and will never prosper. Peña Nieto knows that to fight crime you need a good economy, and keeping Pemex under government control will only keep the cycle of corruption going.

    1. 10:51 China has everything nationalized,and has made great progress.
      The nations that nationalize their patrimony are better off not giving it up,an Indian from Oaxaca,no less,said NO HIPOTECAR EL PAIS.
      Benito Juarez knew what he was talking about,the consequent economic terrorism that follows,gives the necessary excuses to the pinochetazos, of course,what would be the other options?international pirate corporations have never made the vast masses of the populations in their banana Republics rich,educated or smart.
      They get exploited in time of peace and terrorized any time a rebellion is perceived as about to happen.
      Before la Guerra falsa,(the fake war)started,
      Most of Latin America was poor,exploited, and peaceful,Communist guerrillas had to be invented to facilitate the dirty wars and drug trafficking from the banana republics.
      Now the neo-colonials are coming back for everything,with their home rised sicarios on the ready,and fronting for the foreign enemies of the Americas...
      @10:51 keep yapping,you fucking lapdog...

    2. The US where everything is privatized has been in decline since Ronald reagan's trickle down economystics and g hw bush scientific discovery of voodoo economics.
      As it has been proven,austerity works,the poor get poorer and the rich get richer.
      The degradation of liberty into libertinism fulfills its promise once again,hitler wanted Paris burning,neron saw Rome burning,the US is burning marihuana until the right fiddler arrives to see it all burn down on his way to hell,when the triumphant forces finish conquering the US,the red guards will take care of her majesty's royal Republicans,for there can be only one majesty under God,her majesty the devil...

  3. What if we just nuked Mexico and sent all the migrants back from the US afterwards. They've seen how an elite country operates.. perhaps they may have learned one thing.. if anything. But then again they came from Mexico where they refuse to learn or progress. Our hands are tied.. done having to babysit our little neighbors.

    1. 11:18 where did that radioactive material come from,stupid ass?
      And it may end up in some Chinese steel plant,since the powers that be sent "their" steel plants offshore...
      Maybe you should go back to your decadent Europe,and its failing economies,full of freely and illustrious unemployed drugaddicts and prostitutes and euros...

    2. What if Russia just nuked the U.S. All the Americas would blossom. Nothin obese, ignorant, and has no idea what there government is hiding. World police pssshhh. Chinas going to come collect soon

    3. Yea your really smart and possibly toothless

    4. Secondlly US is a heaven for all migrants tbe only true people ARE the mexicans and native americans.. Ur mom must have been on some good meth during ur conseption in breeder

    5. Hey tweeker may chinas tired of babysitting usa. Usa is like a,person on welfare.. Needs help paying the bills.. When ever ur not busy inbreeding with ur sister u might wanna check out how corupt n low ur country is before u speak

    6. If anything,millionaires,their property and assets, belong to their country,and they have no right to abscond the money offshore,to bring it back at will to influence elections or to buy plants to send offshore the American jobs.
      The time for expropriations is arriving fast,and for negating value to offshored money,for disowning the foreign debt,to which the US has been led by stupid governments that did not know any better
      just like the banana republics.
      Foreign and domestic enemies of the people and the country,have no right to do as they please

    7. 11:18 more than seeing how the great US country operates,some of us have seen how it is manipulated by its enemies, domestic and foreign,mostly the billionaire Winders of her majesty's royal bluebloods,the Republikkkan party teabaggers and the pirate vulture entrepreneurs that feed them their nazi tea while robbing the country blind...

  4. Thank you very much for this report! I had no idea this has been happening and that the priests are bravely speaking out. Nice to know, since i am not catholic and only hear the negative reports.

  5. I would love to hear more about your project helping migrants. You are amazing chivas.

  6. it's good to see the Catholic Church speaking out about this. better for them to speak out in public, rather than to hide the issue. but it's not over, and their own personal war and sacrifices may be just beginning. in other parts of Central America and Colombia the Catholic church has been targeted for extortion for many years. Often guerilla groups like the FARC do this - and local priests have been paying them. the priests have little choice, except that otherwise they will lose their lives. so it is quite likely that the cartels in Mexico have learned these facts and are applying "muscle" to the churches in their territories. where all this will end is anyone's guess, but it is not impossible that we may see priests and nuns kidnapped before this is over (unfortunately).
    P, CA

  7. Chivis - perhaps you should actually take time to write an article about your own project so we can undrstand it better. it looks to be very well motivated - the work helping migrants. apparently the death threats in this story are part of a bigger issue that somehow ties to the migrants, and your own charity. I do not think it would be considered "beating your own drum" to take time and explain the project. it is very relevant to what is going on. all the best, P CA,

  8. Sinaloa is the cheapest state in mexico

  9. WOW ! that is low for the scum to kill a priest , Also that puppet Nieto needs to be stopped at all cost , Mexico has being extorted by these puppets enough. Die on your feet than live on your knees !

  10. @December 4, 2013 at 11:18 AM first of all do you realize how many immigrants live in the usa and that are us citizens. second almost all americans come ftom other country's some are 3rd or 4th generation's but still came from immigrants. so stupid people come ftom everywhere but you are just trying to say Mexicans are animals that cannot progress or learn. but you are just a turd maybe if you had finish high school gone to college you would had a better job and wouldn't feel so bad about yourself and be a turd.

    1. 11:18 Lesser men are a reality of life,not everybody has the same chances,or is able to do any better for whatever reasons.
      For a person that is soo well off,soo better,soo learned,to put them down is just evidence of what is wrong in the world,these devils that we so not deserve,need their own world,maybe go to the Cayman islands? And don't come back Joe,the US of A has other owners,and not one millimeter of obligation to please your nasty ass...

  11. @December 4 11:18 If you send all the mexicans back the U.S. would go to hell. Nobody to build roads or houses. Nothing would ever get fixed cuz u know damn well u lazy american fucks will overdose on drugs n let everything go to shit

    1. Gracias, Thank You.
      There is good people in every race
      and shitty ones as well.

    2. More than 50% white people support the poor, the blacks,the Mexicans,and the president of the US of A, I hope the racist ass explodes from the rage,it's getting too close to experiencing how it feels to be a minority...

  12. This country was built by Immigrants and ruin by Racist ignorant sheep ! God bless all the humble people in this world suffering because of greed and corrupt Governments.

  13. These cartel cowards are useless piece of shits whose mothers are whores and their fathers are scums. These cowards who goes after priests, children and other innocent people should be beheaded in front of their victims. They would never do this in US because these cartel fuckers would know what we could do.

  14. There is some thruth that mostly migrants from Mexico and Central America are uneducated, it is killing American economy for the future. Study shows that most Hispanics and Blacks dropout of schools. It is not the case for those who remain in their own country. However, these people are needed because most Americans are lazy. The first generation Hispanics are hard workers, but their children are as lazy as the Americans.

    1. 9:26
      --somebody corrupted the prison guards in America until they became so unmanageable that many prisoners had to go to private prisons ready to handle them for twice the money and an efficient halving of the expenses.
      --public schools got so corrupted by gangs and drugs that the government had to give them up to private organizations ready to manage them with all the promises in the world,for twice the money,and half the services,and we have a record of failures for most of them magnet private schools.
      Do we see a pattern where privatizing drives crime,corruption and inefficiency?
      Same thing in the armed services,as exposed in the book "selling of the Iraqi war",same thing on government functions and services,private corporations extending their empty tin cans for corporate welfare,while damning the government to hell and demonizing the American people on of mitt romney's corporations had to pay back millions to the US government for fraud to Medicare,florida
      governor what's his name's health care Co,had to pay back billions of dollars to the US government for fraud to Medicare,his own organization kicked him out,he went on to spend 70 million to buy Florida's governorship,why?to steal some more from the people's government,that is why.
      Both of these guys are Republicans, corporatista vultures preying on the government they want to make smaller...
      These are the people killing America,sending other people's children to fight their wars,getting America in debt to get their ill gotten gains,helping other countries defeat the american soldiers,stealing all the money to put in foreign banks,stealing all the American jobs with promises that it will be good for Americans to be left out of work.
      and you ignorant asshole come here blaming lazy Mexicans and Americans?
      Get some schooling, estupido!

    2. It makes me laugh how some Chicanos have Aztec and Mexican flag tattoos on their bodies, and how racist they are towards Mexican Nationals calling us wetbacks and(plastics) sh!t like that. We call them PLASTICONES because they are fake.

    3. Smoking shit,causes pipe dreams, plasticones,think being born on the us side,or the appearance thereof,makes them a better kind of American,even Whitey don't self-aggrandize like that.
      Calling names is funny esseee, Keep it up!

    4. The worst and most confused were the ones that were on the bus with me when we got deported,you should of seen them when we got off the bus in Nogalitos ahi si que eran paisas.
      That's when they got snapped back to reality.

  15. Where are the Chapo cock suckers ? Bastard usless scumbag thugs.


    10 hardest working countries Where in the world do workers toil the most each year? The United States is high on the list, but a few other countries work even harder. Mexico 1 of 10 hardest working countries mexico • The four-day work week Average annual hours: 2,317 Average annual wages: $9,885 In Mexico, workers average 45 hours a week, the most of any industrialized nation. They work about 519 hours more than the typical American worker each year, only to earn less than a fifth of the pay. When the OECD ranks industrialized nations by education and work-life balance, Mexico comes out on the bottom in both cases. Only about a third of adults -- ages 25 to 64 -- have earned the equivalent of a high school diploma. There's also a huge gender gap in the job market. Whereas 78% of men have jobs, only about 43% of adult women work for pay.

    1. 12:26 worng! The hardest working are the north Koreans,who work 18 hrs a day,no free days,no vacations,no holidays,not even to go and praise the great maximum leaders that favor them so greatly by allowing them to breathe one more minute all day long.
      Their great nuclear cardboard rockets builders that gloriously keep the US at bay in the south Korea,the great military leaders that china sponsors all the way,whose solution for laziness,sickness or whatever is a bullet between the eyes,or a more merciful one to the back of the head,if course they don't count because they don't get a paycheck,the handful of corn or rice they get everyday cannot be duly quantified.
      Then we get the Chinese,the economic model of the offshoring vulture capitalists,
      work 12 to16 hours a day,7days a week,for 40 US cents,a week,and a bag of cucarachas, because that is what the Chinese eat.
      But on the other hand they have been christianicized, RALPH REED SAYS SO,after all the hard work robbing the American Indians on their spare time,of the money left over after the KOCH brothers robbed their oil,helping the great socialist nation of MAO become the model of productivity and economic success that Mit Romney and his vulture capitalist cohorts yearned for all their lives...and yada yada yada...
      Statistics usually can not tell the whole story about most anything,but help compare to see who is the big enchilada...and that is of course always MEXICO! MEXICO! MEXICO!

  17. El Snorty is winning the war

  18. 4:09
    Say it brother...
    It is shocking how prejudice against any migrant Mexicans are. Especially the undocumented. Like we are superior sans empathy.
    and very color conscience, preferring lighter skin.

    also against indigenous people of Mexico and migrants of central America. they don't care about their suffering.

    1. 10:15 chivaaa!we the Indians only wanted to live in peace,with what little we had,it is a pity that the little progress we made could be so fucking expensive,now "the great Christian Conquerors of us" want to send us back to land we no longer want or have any use for,we have learned some inglish damnit! We have also found a lot of love in the US,and are the fathers of the not so white Americans of today and tomarra,so let our conquerors exploit their Latin America with the Chinese help they cherish so much and let all the Latin-American people into the US where we will have weapons to kill any future enemies (foreign and domestic) of our great nation,the north Latin-American united states of northamerica,before they grow too big for their britches...

  19. "God bless all the humble people in this world suffering because of greed and corrupt Governments. "
    Amen. P, CA

  20. Is there a chance that the korporate korrections kenters of amerikkka is fueling the flight of Southamericans to the US to keep arresting them to fill their quotas? Just wonderin',all other incidencies are just that...

  21. I thought this was about Catholic priests been killed by drug traffickers, and not a symposium about the world economic situation.

  22. 4:56
    lets see...priests in danger? check
    2 priests killed? check
    Chapo sends message? check

    are you so retarded that you think this is a post about global economics?
    who the hell do you think is threatening, killing and now extorting the priests?
    gee lets guess, ya think it maybe, just maybe, it could be traffickers? DUH.

    I marveled at this post which had to have taken hours on end to compile all this information of several stories.

    Shameful ungrateful ass you are.

    1. Do you have proof that drug trafficker Chapo send that message, or killed the priests? The message could've been written by Peña Nieto himself, and the priests murdered by the government.

    2. 9:35am half of the comments refer to the economy. Please read them all.

  23. From the BBC

  24. I noticed the hard working index mentions hours and pay, but not output. Where is output in relation to input in all of this (i.e., efficiency = ratio of what you put in versus what you get out). In that context, the North Koreans and Mexicans work all these hours for crappy or no pay and have little to show for it......and you call that "hard working?"

  25. 8:52 oh,yeah,baby! Yes,Yess,Yesss!
    Ralph and Mitt,xoxoxo!
    The north Koreans have developed their cardboard rockets with multiple nuculear head capability,the Chinese,their new gigantic warships and radar evading aerial submarines to deliver their pirated goods all over the world...
    That leaves little doubt that Communist slave labor,and global capitalist entrepreneurship,work.
    I hear the baby pirate corporatistas send a lot of Meth predecessors to Mexico to hell their imperialistic penetration,.now they are buying into mining and pemex and yada yada...
    My favorite statitistician,Charlie Brown said:
    Eat your statistics!
    Att. Woodstock


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