Two Mexican priests were found murdered Monday, just hours after they were kidnapped from the low-income neighborhood where they served in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz.
Prosecutors said the two men were abducted from their church in the state’s northern city of Poza Rica on Sunday. The priests were found with bullet wounds in the municipality of Papantla, close to where they were kidnapped.
A third man, a church assistant, managed to escape the kidnappers. He was found on Monday and put under police protection.
The Mexican Council of Bishops identified the slain priests as Alejo Nabor Jimenez Juarez and Jose Alfredo Juarez de la Cruz.
“We express our pain and indignation at the violence committed against them,” the Bishops said in a statement.
“In these moments of pain and powerlessness in the face of the tragic violence we pray to the heavens for the eternal rest of our brothers and ask Our Lord for the conversion of their killers,” the statement continued. “From the authorities, we expect an investigation clear up these acts and that those responsible be brought to justice.”
Poza Rica and it surrounding environs has been the scene of drug-related gang violence for many years. But it’s unclear why the Catholic clergymen were targeted.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them…
Photo: Getty Images/AFP
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