- Aug 12, 2020
One of two priests shot to death in a road ambush had been photographed earlier holding an assault rifle in the company of armed, masked men, a prosecutor in southern Mexico said Tuesday.
Fides said 23 people working for the church worldwide — 13 priests, one religious brother, one religious sister and eight lay persons — died violent deaths in 2017; that number was down from 28 people killed in 2016.
Gunmen killed a 72-year-old Catholic priest on the main Philippine island of Luzon Dec. 4, a day after police killed a pastor they tagged as a member of the communist New People’s Army.
Unlike the Muslim-majority north of the country, where the Islamist militant group Boko Haram threatens the Christian community, the southeast of the country is predominantly Christian. However, the region is plagued by government corruption and violence. Armed gangs roam the region, and kidnappings for ransom are common.
Father Miguel Angel Machorro has died from wounds he sustained when attacked by an American artist after celebrating Mass in May. The suspect was arrested at the scene. This is another example of the recent rise in violent crimes against priests in Mexico.
The Saltillo Diocese in northern Mexico said it was informed by authorities about the discovery of the body of Father Joaquin Hernandez Sifuentes, missing since Jan. 3. The diocese did not release any other information, and there was no comment from the state prosecutors’ office.