Violence Against Clergymen in Mexico on the Rise

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SAN JUAN - The Catholic Church said it’s getting more dangerous for priests in Mexico.

Mexican Bishop Raul Vera said violence against them increases every year. His service on Wednesday served as a reminder to not forget about the sick, the poor and elderly immigrants.

Vera, of Saltillo, Mexico, said violence against his church is at a new peak. He said it’s his mission to take a stand.

“It’s a serious situation. It starts with morals,” he said. “The first that that was lost was respect for human beings.”

His own priest, Joaquin Hernandez Sifuentes, went missing and turned up dead last month. Vera said he died in a violent dispute and not by organized crime.

Sifuentes’ death comes after what the church in Mexico calls the most tragic 12 months in the last 26 years.

A report by Centro Catolico Multimedial said three priests and four catechists were killed in 2016. Many others were kidnapped and threatened with extortion.

Mexico was also named the most dangerous country for priests to work for the eight year in a row.

Bishop Vera said inequality, corruption and separated families are to blame for how the way things are. He said he’s making a call to action.

“It calls us to act. The pope specifically told us that we need the global effort to fight this. We can’t minimalize it,” he said.

Vera said he’ll work to draw attention to and condemn the violence being lived in Mexico.

The church in Mexico said the country’s prosecutors aren’t helping either. They said 80 percent of murders go unresolved. 


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