Mexican Youth Catechist Killed With 13 Others

Protestors Call for End to Violence

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CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico, OCT. 27, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Luis Alberto Vital, one of the 14 young men executed in Ciudad Juarez, was a catechist and hoped to be a priest, said his parish priest.

Father Roberto Ramos Cortes told the media that the 14 young men killed and the 19 wounded last weekend were not criminals.

One of them, who hoped to be a priest, was killed along with his brother, who was only 13, while attending a celebration.
 
There have been countless acts of violence in this Mexican city, most related to drug trafficking.
 
On Monday the funeral was held of four of the victims. Bishop Renato Ascencio León of Ciudad Juarez led the prayers for the unfortunate youth before they were buried.
 
The funeral service took place in the church of the Lord of Miracles. The first bodies to arrive in the church were those of two pairs of brothers. Later, two more arrived in the afternoon.
 
During the funeral the execution of the 14 youngsters by organized crime members was described as irrational. The vicar of the diocese, Oscar Rene Blanco Vega, exhorted all the faithful and Christian groups to unite to fight for peace and to defend human life.
 
The community of Ciudad Juarez, together with priests, NGO representatives, and other authorities demanded that the government intervene to stop the killing of innocent people.

Good persons
 
The mother of two of the executed — Luis Alberto Vital, 17, and his brother, 13, said that her older son was coordinator of catechism and a founding member of a dancing group of the parish of the Lord of Miracles. She affirmed that he hoped to be a priest.
 
The mother said: “They killed two of my sons,” who “were good persons and did no one any harm.”
 
Father Cortes said that Luis showed he had a vocation to the priesthood and that they had already talked about his entering the seminary next year to study.
 
Luis collaborated in the parish’s confirmation preparation program, in addition to participating in the dance group and in youth pastoral care. His pastor noted, “They were in undue circumstances because they were healthy boys and given to the Lord, working for the promotion of other young people.”
 
Some 20 civil organizations of Mexico demanded justice for the families of the 14 adolescents and young men executed. These organizations reported that already 1,200 minors have been killed by organized crime in that region.
 
During a press conference, representatives of the organizations estimated that of the more than 28,000 deaths attributed to drug trafficking, 1,200 are Mexican children and adolescents.
 
Members of these organizations signed a manifesto titled “Enough now! Not one more!” in which they lamented “the human disaster in which the totality of cities of the northern border of the country are immersed.”
 
Moreover, they called for a technical mission of the United Nations to implement actions to safeguard the life and patrimony of the most dangerous areas of Ciudad Juarez.

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ZENIT Staff

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