SÃO PAULO, Brazil – A kidnapping and murder of an 8-year-old girl in Mexico has been condemned by the Church in Mexico.

On Mar. 27, Camila Gómez Ortega went to the house of a friend – not far from her own house – to play in Taxco, Guerrero state. A couple of hours later, her mother came to pick her up, but the mother of Camila’s friend, Ana Rosa Aguilar, told her that the girl had never appeared there.

Camila’s mother began to look for the girl and talked to nearby business owners. That’s when she began receiving texts on her phone asking for a ramson. CCTV footage provided by shopkeepers to her showed that the girl had really gotten into Ana Rosa’s house.

The cameras also recorded when a woman – presumably Ana Rosa – left the house with a man. They were carrying a large bag, which they put into a taxi. They came back some time later, without the bag.

Camila’s mother reported the case to the authorities after some time and the searches began. The taxi driver seen on the video was detained and ended up taking the police to the road where the bag had been left by him and Ana Rosa. The agents confirmed that Camila was already dead.

At that point, local residents were already aware of the accusations against Ana Rosa and a growing group surrounded her house. Camila’s uncle told the press that the prosecutors kept telling the family that an arrest order was about to be issued against Ana Rosa and her two older sons, but as the order never arrived, people got more and more enraged.

According to Father Tomas Martinez Rivera, a vicar in one of Taxco’s parishes who knew both Camila’s and Ana Rosa’s families, the police were closing the nearby streets in that area the whole night to stop the presumed criminals from escaping.

“The mob was increasing. Some of the people there were drinking alcohol. The atmosphere was getting tense,” he told Crux.

Earlier that day, there was a peaceful protest in front of Martinez’s church in honor of Camila. He celebrated a Holy Mass and mentioned her tragic killing.

A number of videos went viral on Latin American social media and show how the angry mob invaded Ana Rosa’s house at some point on Thursday morning and took her and her two sons out. They were surrounded and heavily beaten up by dozens of people.

Some clips show that the city police were able to take Ana Rosa and the two young men at some point, putting them in their truck. The crowd, however, grabbed them away and began to hit them again. At least one man is seen carrying a gallon of gasoline.

“The agents couldn’t do anything because they were also being menaced. The crowd would set fire to their cars if they tried to take the victims away,” Martinez said.

One video showed Ana Rosa half naked and severely injured, lying on the street. According to Martinez, that’s when the policemen put her in their truck again and took her to the prosecutor’s office.

“That’s an error they made. Why would they take a fainted woman to the prosecutor’s office? Why didn’t they take her to the hospital? Maybe there was time to do something for her,” he said. Ana Rosa was declared dead shortly later.

Martinez said that he visited her two sons at the hospital and they’re recovering from non-life-threatening injuries. He also visited their grandfather, a man who is active in his church community, and he is “devastated.” The priest talked to Camila’s family as well. Her father lives and works in the United States, while her mother takes care of the family in Taxco.

“It’s a shame for our city that people could be so violent. Somebody killed Camila, which was a monstrous act. And the crowd let itself be guided by rage and didn’t wait for the due process to take place,” he said.

Martinez said that Taxco commonly receives many Catholics from other regions and even other countries during the Easter celebrations. This year, however, many avoided visiting the city after such events.

The Archdiocese of Mexico City published an editorial on its on-line publication Desde la fe (From faith) titled “Resurrection Sunday: what future do we want?”

“What do we need as a society to realize that by allowing these events we are destroying ourselves little by little? How many more dead girls? How many more lynchings? How many more injustices? When will we understand that violence only generates more violence?” the article read.

The acts of violence occurred in Taxco exhibit “several problems that have fractured the social fabric, problems that are up to the State authorities, the politicians, the security institutions, and, of course, the citizens and families as well to solve,” it continued.

“Jesus died and rose again to open a path for us to love through forgiveness. It is in our hands to push aside the stone that oppresses our society and our hearts to make way for the fullness of life,” the article concluded.

Bishop José de Jesús González Hernández of Chilpancingo-Chilapa told the press after Mass on Mar. 31 that the “government has been especially indifferent to so many crimes that could have been avoided and were not.”

About Ana Rosa’s lynching, González said that the Mexican state has been failing to provide security and justice, thus causing such reactions.

“As humans we need to control all those spirits that move within us, surely those of injustice, surely those of lack of compliance with the law. If justice does not exist, someone makes it,” he said, according to newspaper El Universal.