As the war on drugs ravages across certain parts of Mexico, the pastoral mission of bishops in the hardest hit areas has increasingly become more difficult. Case and point, the diocese of Apatzingan, in the southern Mexican state of Michoacan.
Its bishop, Msgr. Miguel Patiño Velasquez, recently wrote a letter denouncing the violence and fear the drug cartels have brought on his diocese and the state, calling it a "failed state.” He also criticized the corruption at the local government level.
As a result of the letter, the bishop has become a target for the state's largest cartel, the Templar Knights. On Sunday, Mexico's Federal Police escorted the bishop to a military compound after allegedly intercepting information about an attack on the Mexican prelate.
However, in addition to the threats, the letter has sparked a national debate about security. Mexican bishops have shown their solidarity with Msgr. Velasquez and they too have called on the government to protect the people.