Guadalajara, Mexico, Jun 28, 2022 / 16:25 pm (CNA).
Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, the Archbishop of Guadalajara revealed that last week he was stopped and questioned at a checkpoint manned by drug traffickers during a visit to the northern part of Mexico’s Jalisco state.
ArquiMedios, a weekly publication of the Archdiocese of Guadalajara, reported the cardinal made the statement at a June 26 press conference.
The cardinal lamented the current climate of violence in Mexico, including the recent killing of two Jesuit priests and another man in a church in the state of Chihuahua.
The priests were trying to protect the man, who had fled inside the church as he was being pursued by an armed assailant who then shot him and the two priests, killing all three.
At the press conference, the archbishop explained that he was “stopped at two checkpoints, obviously belonging to organized crime, and they demand that you tell them where you’re coming from, what’s your purpose, what you’re doing there.”
“I mean, that’s like the most normal, the most natural thing, but why?” the cardinal asked during the press conference.
“This is due to the deterioration of values, respect for life, respect for institutions,” so it is important to assume an attitude of individual responsibility in the current situation, he said.
The cardinal said that “we must all be aware that, if we do not propose each one in his field, in his place, in his relationships, to be builders of peace, of understanding, of reconciliation, we will end up destroying each other.”
The Archbishop of Guadalajara asked the authorities to do their job and guarantee security for all citizens.
“We’re not asking that someone be shot to death, we’re just asking that they enforce the law,” he said.
In other recent incidents of violence in the country, 13 people, including four police officers, were killed in El Salto, Jalisco state, in a shootout between law enforcement and drug traffickers, and the Bishop of Zacatecas, Sigifredo Noriega Barceló, was stopped and questioned by organized crime members.
Mexico is experiencing a dramatic escalation in violence. Between 2018 and 2021, the country recorded the highest number of homicides in its history. The period includes the last year of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s term and the first three years of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Mexican presidents hold office for six years.
From Jan. 1 to June 26 of this year, according to official figures, more than 12,847 homicides have occurred in Mexico.
This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.
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