MEXICO CITY – Mexican authorities have arrested a suspect in the abduction and murder of two Catholic priests in Veracruz state last month.
Mexico City prosecutors say in a Monday statement that the unidentified suspect was detained Oct. 13 along with another person after they allegedly carjacked a couple in the capital. Investigators later determined the suspect had an arrest warrant for the kidnapping of the priests.
Alejo Nabor Jimenez and Alfredo Suarez de la Cruz were found bound and shot to death along a roadside outside the city of Poza Rica on Sept. 19.
Veracruz state prosecutors have alleged that the clerics were drinking with their killers beforehand. That angered Roman Catholic church leaders who criticized what they called a campaign to smear the victims.
With 15 priests killed in the last four years, Mexico is the most dangerous country to exercise priestly ministry in the entire world, Father Hugo Valdemar, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Mexico City, said recently.
In a report published Sept. 21, the research unit of the Catholic Multimedia Center recorded 14 murders of priests from 2012 to 2016. The death of Fr. José Alfredo López Guillén, whose body was found the night of Sept. 24, brings that number to 15.
Speaking to CNA, Valdemar stated that “it has become clear that Mexico is the country where ministers of the Catholic Church are most at risk.
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