Published On: Sat, Dec 27th, 2014

Catholic Priests victims of Organized Crime in the State of Guerrero praise: Enough!

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Dozens of Roman Catholic clergy members and hundreds of parishioners marched through Ciudad Altamirano in southern Mexico on Wednesday December 24th, 2014, to demand the release of a kidnapped priest and to protest a series of kidnappings, killings and robberies of priests.

Bishop Maximino Martínez and about 30 white-robed priests led the marchers. They called for the release of the Rev. Gregorio López Gorostieta, who they said had been kidnapped from a local seminary on Monday.

The protesters carried banners that said “Enough Already!” and “Return Father Gregorio,” and sang hymns as they marched to the city’s cathedral.

Mr. López Gorostieta’s pickup truck was found abandoned, and the church has filed a report with the police. The motive for his abduction remains unclear.

“We haven’t received any demand for ransom,” said Bishop Martínez, who added that his diocese had “suffered a lot” from the drug cartel violence that has made southern Guerrero State one of the most dangerous regions in Mexico.

Unfortunatelly, on Friday December 26th, the lifeless body of Father Gregorio was found near Ciudad Altamirano.

Rev Gregorio Gorostieta (Photo: Excelsior)

Rev Gregorio Gorostieta (Photo: Excelsior)

At least two priests have been killed in Guerrero State this year, and several others have been abducted, robbed or wounded in robbery attempts.

In September, the battered body of the Rev. Ascensión Acuña Osorio was found floating in the Balsas River near his parish, San Miguel Totolapan, by Ciudad Altamirano. Prosecutors have offered the diocese no explanation of his death. San Miguel Totolapan is dominated by the Guerreros Unidos drug gang, which has been implicated in the mass killing of 43 students in September in a nearby city, Iguala.

Bishop Martínez said a priest had been kidnapped in the mountains above San Miguel Totolapan by gunmen who complained that he had spoken in favor of La Familia, a rival drug gang. The priest said that he had been preaching in favor of family values, not the rival gang.


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