Church Urges Justice for Migrants After Mexico Massacre

Says Crime Cannot Go Unpunished

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MEXICO CITY, AUG. 27, 2010 ( The Church in Mexico is calling for justice and respect for all immigrants, as authorities in the nation are trying to identify the bodies of 72 Central and South Americans slain as they tried to reach the United States.

The northwestern Mexico state of Tamaulipas was the site of the slaughter, in which it is believed the more than six dozen victims were killed by a drug cartel for refusing to cooperate in drug trafficking.

Ciudad Victoria, capital of Tamaulipas, was also site of two car bombs today, one outside of a television network, and the other outside of a police station. Neither explosions caused any injuries. 

Auxiliary Bishop Víctor Rodríguez Gómez of Texcoco, secretary-general of the Conference of the Mexican Episcopate, affirmed the murder of the migrants «cannot go unpunished» and said «limited explanations by those who provide justice in our country» would not be sufficient.

«This massacre fills us with grief, concern and indignation over the viciousness with which organized crime operates, while the various levels of government, with much effort, but not always with the results that society would like to see, seek to contain this wave of violence and insecurity that scourges our homeland,» he added.

Though it is well known that Mexico’s high-profile war on drugs has brought thousands of casualties, the plight of migrants trying to pass through Mexico from further south is often unnoticed.

Various Church organizations, however, have long spoken out against the crimes to which these Central and South American migrants are subjected. The Saltillo-based Hostel for Migrants has published six reports on the phenomenon, calling it a «humanitarian tragedy.»

Bishop Rodríguez Gómez observed, «Just as we demand that the authorities of our neighboring country treat our compatriots with respect and dignity, in Mexico […] we must give respectful and just treatment to all those who cross our borders in search of a better quality of life.»

Turning to prayer

Bishop Faustino Armendáriz Jiménez of Matamoros, the diocese where the massacre took place, launched a prayer campaign, «asking the Lord of our lives to receive these slain brothers» and to «give speedy consolation» to the families.

He asked parishes to celebrate Masses for the murdered migrants, who «with the enthusiasm of finding a better quality of life, lost it in the attempt.»

Finally, the prelate asked for prayers «so that those responsible for seeking the security of the population may find adequate strategies so that bloodshed and all violence will cease.»

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