December 3, 2023

Mexican authorities said on Monday that seven members of the same family were killed in Mexico, as President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador faces increased scrutiny over his security policy.

Three women and four men, including a minor, were shot at their home in the municipality of Boca del Rio in the eastern state of Veracruz. The Prosecutor’s Office said. “There will be no impunity,” said state attorney general Veronica Hernandez Giadans.

A source in the National Guard, who asked not to be named, told AFP that they belong to the same family that runs a chain of butcher shops.

More than 340,000 people have died in the cycle of bloodshed since Mexico deployed the army to fight drug cartels in 2006.

The government blames most of the deaths on gangs involved in crimes including drug smuggling, fuel theft, kidnapping and extortion.

Questions about Lopez Obrador’s security strategy have escalated since then Two Jesuit priests and a tour guide were killed On June 27 at a church in the northern state of Chihuahua.

Lopez Obrador told reporters on Monday that a member of the armed forces was killed on Saturday during an operation that apprehended three alleged drug smugglers in the northwestern state of Sonora.

He defended his security policy, which focused on addressing the root causes of violence, including poverty.

“We are convinced that violence cannot be met with violence,” Lopez Obrador said.

Mexico President Conference Daily Morning News
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks during his daily morning briefing conference at the National Palace, on July 4, 2022 in Mexico City, Mexico.

Louis Barron/Eyepix Collection/Future Publishing via Getty Images

He called it a “grave mistake” for Mexico to “declared war on crime” in 2006 under then-president Felipe Calderon.

Mexican bishops put pictures of dead priests in churches

Mexico’s Roman Catholic Bishops Conference on Monday called on parishioners across the country to place pictures of deceased nuns and priests in their churches on Sunday, and to hold mass for all those killed in gang-fueled violence.

The call for special ceremonies throughout July came after priests and tour guides were murdered on June 20. Authorities have identified a local gang leader who reportedly belongs to the Sinaloa cartel as the suspect in these killings. Jose Nouriel Portillo Gilnicknamed “El Chueco”, is actually wanted for the murder of an American tourist in 2018.

Prosecutors announced A reward of $250,000 for information leading to the arrest of the priests’ alleged killer. The office said it was the highest reward offered in the country’s history. The suspect is still at large.

The council also called the faithful to pray on July 31 for the conversion or deliverance of murderers.

Meanwhile, another priest said he was beaten up over the weekend in the violence-ridden western state of Michoacan.

Reverend Matthew Calvilo wrote in an open letter that men traveling in another car cut off his car and forced him to stop, and that one of them came to his window and brutally beat him. The priest said he did not know any motive for the June 29 attack in the town of Quirindaro, saying the man seemed irrational.

On June 24, the Council of Bishops issued an open letter telling the government that “the time has come to review failed security policies.”

The two murdered priests — Reverend Javier Campos, 79, and Reverend Joaquín Mora, 80 — spent most of their lives serving indigenous people in the Sierra Tarahumara Mountains. Jesuits were shot dead in the chapel in the town of Sirocahui.

the church Catholic Multimedia Center said Seven priests have been killed under the current administration, which took office in December 2018, and at least twenty priests under the former president who took office in 2012. In 2016, Three priests were killed in just one week in Mexico.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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