The Governor of chihuahuaMaru Campos, confirmed that state authorities recovered the bodies of the Jesuit priests Javier Campos and Joaquín Mora, as well as that of the tourist guide Pedro Palma, who were murdered last Monday in the community of Cerocahuimunicipality of Urique.
“Thanks to an extraordinary effort by the State Attorney General’s Office, commanded by Master Roberto Fierro, we have managed to locate and recover, verified by forensic medicine, the bodies of the Jesuit priests, Javier Campos, Joaquín Mora and the tour guide Pedro Palma,” Campos said in a video posted on his social media, without offering more details about where the bodies were found.
According to reports from the Attorney General of the state of Chihuahua (FGE), the attack occurred around 6:00 p.m. on Monday, June 20, when the priests tried to protect a person who was being chased by at least one other armed man.
The man who was persecuted, and who worked as a tour guide, was also killed.
The attackers loaded the three bodies into the back of a pickup truck, covered them with plastic and took them away, according to Father Luis Gerardo Moro Madrid, head of what is known as the Jesus company.
“We denounce the murder of our brothers (…) We demand justice and the recovery of the bodies of our brothers who were taken from the temple by armed persons,” the religious order detailed in a statement on Tuesday.
It is worth mentioning that a few hours earlier in the same community it was reported that two men, a woman and a minor had been kidnapped, although the authorities have not specified whether the two events were related.
This Wednesday afternoon, the Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection (SSPC) reported in a statement that the alleged aggressor of the religious had already been identified.
Both local and federal authorities activated a search warrant for José “N”, alias “El Chueco”, for the crime of aggravated homicide.
According to investigations, it has been seen in the regions of Cerocahui, Bahuichivo, Porochi, Poblado Rodeo and Urique, in Chihuahua.
“The investigation continues to find his whereabouts and not allow impunity,” said the text issued by the federal agency.
The Conference of the Mexican Episcopate He condemned the “tragedy” and demanded “a prompt investigation” as well as security for the country’s priests.
In Mexico, members of various religious orders often act as defenders and mediators between the inhabitants of their communities and the hitmen of organized crime who operate there.
In states like Michoacán or Guerrero, some religious have opted for dialogue with drug traffickers as a way to pacify these regions, usually impoverished and with little state presence.
Some 30 priests have been murdered in the last decade in Mexico, according to the NGO Centro Católico Multimedial.
Mexico is shaken by a wave of violence linked to drug trafficking in the midst of which more than 340,000 people have been killed since December 2006, according to official figures.
(With information from Maritza Pérez and AFP.)