Missing Mexican priest found dead, two arrested
The Mexican Council of Bishops made a call on authorities to search for a priest who was missing since Jan. 3.
The council said Rev. Joaquín Hernández Sifuentes was a parish priest in the northern state of Coahuila, which has been plagued by drug cartel violence.
It’s unclear if foul play was involved, but the council said that “crime and violence destroy the most sacred thing we have, life.”
Finally, Rev. Joaquín Hernández Sifuentes, the priest reported missing since Jan. 3 was found dead on Thursday Jan. 12.
The Saltillo Diocese in Coahuila announced in a statement that authorities informed them the body of Rev. Joaquín Hernández Sifuentes had been found. No other details were included. The state prosecutors’ office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Hernández was supposed to take a short vacation beginning Jan. 3. But a close friend was unable to reach him by phone that day. Early that same morning, a neighbor saw two young men take Hernández’s car, but did not see the priest with them.
The friend went to the priest’s residence at the church and found his room a mess. Later he found the priest’s packed suitcase.
Two young men were seen as they were taking away the priest’s car on January 3. Subsequently, the white Volkswagen Derby with license plates FKM-3200, was found on Puerto Natales street, in Colonia Residencial Cuauhtémoc, Saltillo, Coahuila.
The lifeless body of the parish priest Joaquín Hernández Sifuentes was found days later, half-buried, in the neighboring municipality of Parras dela Fuente. And on Friday Jan. 13, local authorities informed that two suspects were detained for the murder of father Hernández, but their names were not revealed.
Several Roman Catholic priests have been attacked in Mexico recently.
Three priests were abducted in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz in late 2016; one was found alive, and the other two were found shot to death.
Another priest was killed in the western state of Michoacan in September. At least 31 catholic priests have been killed in Mexico since 2006.