Francis asks God to convert the hearts of the violent.
In a message signed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Pope’s secretary of state, Francis offered his condolences to the families of the victims of a massacre in Reynosa, Mexico. On June 19, gunmen shot at civilians, killing 15 people. Four presumed gunmen were also killed.
The Pontiff assured his closeness to “families who mourn the loss of their loved ones,” affirmed Cardinal Parolin in the letter addressed to the bishop of the diocese of Matamoros, Eugenio Andrés Lira Rugarcía.
He also asks “the Lord, founder of peace, to convert the hearts of the violent and to grant the bereaved spiritual consolation.”
The message of the Bishop of Rome “gives us a lot of courage,” Mgr Lira Rugarcía expressed to the SIR Agency . “It comforts us to know that we are in the prayers of the Vicar of Christ.”
But as well, the bishop lamented the injustice of having to live in fear.
“The people of Reynosa are hurt, shocked and terrified … unfortunately we are used to violence, which should not be the case, since we all have the right to a safe and peaceful life,” he said.
The city of Reynosa sits on the border between Mexico and the United States, across the southern tip of Texas. It is known to be an important platform for drug trafficking, as gangs transport drugs from supply countries in the south, to the United States, where the drugs are consumed.
However it is thought that this massacre was not caused precisely by warring drug cartels, but was simply a criminal act designed to inflict fear and chaos.
During a press conference on June 21, the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, declared that of the 19 victims, 15 were ordinary civilians apparently unrelated to those responsible for the massacre. He has called for a thorough investigation.