Veracruz, Mexico, Aug 30, 2019 / 12:53 am (CNA).- The Archdiocese of Xalapa in Mexico called for peace after a massacre at a night club in the town of Coatzacoalcos claimed 26 lives on Tuesday night.
According to the Veracruz state Attorney General's Office, 10 women and 16 men died in the attack, and 11 more people were injured. The office said the attack was clearly deliberate.
The local press reported that a group of armed men entered the Caballo Blanco bar, opened fire and threw Molotov cocktails.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador called the attack “lamentable,” saying “it fills us with sadness.”
López Obrador condemned those responsible for the attack, and noted claims that the attackers may have been previously arrested and released by authorities.
Fr. Manuel Suazo, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Xalapa, told ACI Prensa, CNA's Spanish-language sister agency, that the local Church “deeply laments the tragedy that took place.”
“We journey in solidarity with the relatives who are suffering grief and pain in face of this terrible situation, which once again fills with mourning the homes of many people in Veracruz,” he said.
In the most recent report from the Executive Secretariat of the National System of Public Safety in Mexico, released in July, Veracruz had seen 133 first-degree murders so far this year, making it ninth in the country.
Through July 31, the agency reported 1,550 homicides in the state of Veracruz.
According to the Mexican newspaper El Universal, the first half of 2019 has been the most violent on record in the country, with 17,065 homicides nationwide.
Suazo said that the area is already experiencing a “continued situation of insecurity and violence.” This new tragedy, he said, “makes citizens feel helpless because the insecurity has not been brought under control, but has increased.”
“Enough of the violence and insecurity. Not one more victim! We want to live in peace,” he said.
This article was originally published by our sister agency, ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.