(ZENIT News / Mexico City, 05.17.2023).- The U.S. State Department published data of the American Catholic Media Center, an informative NGO regarding religious news, which reports on priests killed worldwide. Mexico has suffered the greatest number of priests killed in Latin America.
For the fourteenth consecutive year, Mexico is the Latin American country with the greatest number of Catholic priests killed. In the first five months of 2023, three priests were murdered. If threats and aggressions against representatives of the Catholic Church are taken into account, the figure is more than alarming, as there were 800 incidents between October 2021 and October 2022. The figure could be greater, as these are confirmed attacks, which do not take into account the digital threats.
Over the last 10 years, 39 priests have been killed. The greatest aggressor has been organized crime. It is notorious that the testimony of priests about individuals who have disappeared or suffered extortion makes criminal cartels uncomfortable, which have no qualms in killing those that get in their way. The action of official justice is slow, and in the majority of cases the killings go unpunished, as is the case of the two Jesuit priests who died in Chihuahua a year ago.
78% of Mexico’s population is Catholic. Despite international press attacks on priests to discredit them, they have high moral authority among the faithful and activate their commitment and social work in the communities.
It should be noted that aggressions are rare against Protestant pastors, although aggressions are numerous in all the States of the Republic. There are cases, such as the killing of pastor Armando López, on the Venustiano Carranza highway in Chiapas, and of pastor Efrén Martínez Ruiz, 73, in Mexico City, during last year to rob their money.
The country’s widespread violence wounds all the population. It is lamentable that it also affects those that work daily in selfless and generous service to the people.