Mexican bishop warns against mob justice: ‘violence engenders more violence’

Tabasco, Mexico, May 4, 2018 / 11:46 am (ACI Prensa).- Bishop Gerardo de Jesús Rojas Lopez of Tabasco in southern Mexico criticized acts of mob justice recently carried out by the community against alleged thieves.

“Jesus Christ crucified and glorified in the only one who can heal the wounds and save us from the violence unleashed in our beloved Tabasco due to multiple circumstances,” he said.

The Attorney General’s Office of Tabasco State reported that on April 29, a man who allegedly tried to steal a motorcycle in the town of Tamulté de las Sabanas was beaten and burned to death by the people of the town.

That same day in the town of Vicente Guerrero in Centla, an alleged thief was stabbed, and is now undergoing medical treatment.

According to Leonor Ramirez, president of the Tabasco Human Rights Committee, these two incidents make 24 acts of mob justice so far this yea. Ramirez said that people justify these acts due to a lack of security and mistrust of the authorities.

In a statement released April 30, Bishop Rojas Lopez deplored the “acts of extreme violence” the state of Tabasco has suffered in recent days, including the murders of women and children.

However, he said, despite the desperation and lack of security in the state, “taking justice into your own hands is not the way and the solution to attain the peace so longed for.”

The bishop affirmed that “we categorically reject as contrary to the Spirit of the Gospel of Jesus Christ the acts that have occurred which profoundly wound the same communities and all our people, reminding that violence engenders more violence.”

He stressed that “Jesus Christ always shows us the way to conversion, mercy and forgiveness; the Heavenly Father never tires of waiting for the return of the son when he has left the home.”

Bishop Rojas Lopez called on authorities to commit themselves to better security.

“But we also continue to insistently call on all families to work harder for an integral education that forms values in their children, in order to be able repair the social fabric we live in, certain that there will not be a better society without renewed families,” he said.

The bishop of Tabasco invited Catholics and non-Catholics to “hold prayer campaigns to pray to the Lord for the gift of peace, light and strength that come from the Holy Spirit to find the paths of justice, brotherhood, authentic progress and peace.”


This article was originally published by our sister agency, ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.


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1 Comment

  1. Hmmm….pieces missing from this article. At first only stealing was involved but then later murdered women and children. If authorities are doing nothing and not protecting women and children or not hunting down their murderers, then the Bishop is giving a false answer with the jurassic pacifism that began with Pope St. John Paul II’s urging the West not to stop Hussein from stealing Kuwait in 1990. MEDIA and the NOBEL peace prize has driven Popes and Bishops batty about doing the Ghandi pose. Christ said turn the other cheek if your adversary hits your right cheek. After 2000 years scholars noticed that that means your adversary hit you with his weaker hand…his left in most cases.
    Your right cheek is hit by his left hand….Matthew 5:39.
    Then it was a ritualistic insult thing…not atrocious assault. When both Christ and Paul were struck hard in the face in trials before rulers, neither turned the other cheek….they both rebuked their assailants. In the case of 43 students being murdered en masse in Mexico, both gangsters and police were allegedly involved. It is no wonder that laymen must in some cases form what in effect is militia….if police are either absent or colluding with gangs. The quickie pacifist answer in vogue from high clergy as herein….is a non answer from a Church worn out by criticism and lawsuits. Was the Church instituted by God to please the media or give realistic answers to the flock.
    Violence actually does stop violence sometimes. At 16 I was surrounded and jumped by a gang….then they let me alone in the middle of a circle with one of theirs to fight. I knocked him out with three punches…each backed by twisting my knees inward…which puts your back and its weight behind each punch. Police were watching from a distance and they stormed in…picked the guy off the ground and made us walk home alone but together since they chased the others in a different direction. That gang never touched me again…and the guy I knocked out gave me his business card with the gang name on it and a phone number and he always greeted me with a big hello but his girlfriend always would give me a hard stare which I liked in her…she was loyal to her dude. If someone breaks in your house and wants to rape your wife and won’t freeze or leave but comes toward you and you blast him with double ott buckshot into the particular judgement…guess what…you saved your wife which our Mexican Bishop can’t identify with as long as the media is asking him for his opinion….and Pope Francis is wanting him to say the Ghandi thing…
    “ stop rapists….I do not say double ott them”.

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