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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Catholic Priest Sentenced to 27 Years in High-Profile Mexico City Murder Case

"MX" for Borderland Beat

The victim, Leonardo Avedaño (left), was a deacon in the church of his convicted killer, the Rev. Francisco Javier Bautista (right). Avedaño's brother said that Leonardo respected and admired the clergyman.

A criminal court has sentenced Catholic priest Francisco Javier Bautista Ávalos to 27 years and six months in prison for the murder of Leonardo Avendaño, whose body was found in the Tlalpan borough of Mexico City on June 12, 2019.

The prison sentence will be served without options for early release. The court also ordered a fine of more than 400,000 pesos (US$19,850). The former parish priest was found guilty of murder on Tuesday. The family had asked for the maximum sentence of 50 years.

Avendaño was reported missing on June 11, 2019, a day before his body was found in the back of a pickup truck in Tlalpan. The body showed signs of torture and asphyxiation.

Bautista was detained a week later after having conducted the victim’s funeral service and expressing hope that the murderer would be caught.

But after interviewing Bautista, police noted inconsistencies in his testimony. After reviewing messages on Avendaño’s cellphone, they discovered that the two had met the night Avendaño went missing. A judge subsequently ordered the priest to stand trial on murder charges and remanded him in custody.

Video footage showed that he met with the 29-year-old deacon the night of his murder. Shortly after Avendaño’s death, his family said he was murdered to prevent him from going public with unspecified accusations against Bautista.

Initially, many parishioners supported Bautista. An online petition gathered more than 6,000 signatures in his support. Some early reports suggested that the murder may have been an accident in the course of a sex game. Josué Avendaño, the victim’s brother, emphatically rejected those claims.

“My brother was tortured. [His injuries] weren’t from a game or anything like that. It was something that was planned in advance. My brother was tortured, and then, after that, the cause [of death] was asphyxiation,” he said.

He added that the body was badly bruised with a broken nose and some missing teeth. After the sentencing, the victim’s brother said he was satisfied with outcome.

“I would have liked the maximum penalty but having justice served is more than enough.”

The priest was very close to his family and visited his brother at home on several occasions. He also said that his brother “loved, respected and admired” Bautista.

“Unfortunately someone so close [to him] ended his life. It’s a great disappointment that someone who dedicated himself to preaching the word of God became a murderer,” Avendaño said.

“… He premeditated it and took the time to torture him [before] killing him. … It wasn’t a murder with a gunshot but rather with his own hands.”

Avendaño added that there was no reaction from the priest when the guilty verdict was delivered.

“He did absolutely nothing, he didn’t react at all,” he said.

Sources: Milenio (1); (2); MDN (1); (2)


  1. Maybe killed him because the deacon was going to spill the beans on the priest

  2. If you ever feel like being judged or a place where people will be biased towards you, go to church. Especially the catholic and so called reborn Christians that are former Catholics and don’t trust your kids with any of them!
    Thanks for posting MX!

    1. People open themselves up to be judged.
      For good or bad.

      I’m sure you don’t “judge” child molesters to watch your young siblings, or your own kids.

  3. Nomas falta que empiesen los Evangelicos a que todos los sacerdotes de la iglesia Catolica son demonios y no se que.
    Tambien en las Iglesias Evangelicas se an encontrado asesinos y hasta narcos. Para que se hacen pendejos?

  4. Damn, I wonder what accusations was this kid going to make towards Bautista. Anyone have any more insight on this?

    1. The priest probably got worried the kid would say something about their sexual encounters

  5. Whoa Pretty sick S.O.B.
    I bet he hurt many lil boys also
    Now why is this guy sti breathing in Mexico surely easy enough for a bullet to find the pig
    I hate anyone who hurts children and boys for sex
    This shit needs to be with his true god the DEVIL IN HELL

  6. Religion is such a fucked up concept

  7. I have a religion everyone should follow, this is it in a nutshell, I pay my bills, on Sunday we barbecue, I treat everyone how I want to be treated. I call this religion” being fucking normal”. Everyone should try it out.


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