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Investigation exposes truth behind narco-murder of Mexican cardinal

2014-05-31

The pastoral staff Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo used is on display at Rome's Basilica of St. Bartholomew. It stands within the altar dedicated to the Catholic martyrs in the 20th Century in Latin America.

On March 24, 1993, Card. Posadas Ocampo waited at the airport parking lot for the arrival of Mexico's Apostolic Nuncio to Guadalajara, his home diocese. As he waited, shots rang out. In minutes, the Mexican cardinal lay dead, his body riddled with bullets.

CARD. FRANCISCO ROBLES ORTEGA
Archbishop of Guadalajara (Mexico)
"In Guadalajara, we still remember him. We remember his pastoral work, so peaceful, a pastoral work of communion, and close to the people. The community remembers him, they live out his work, and the people want a solution to this crime.”

Solving his murder has proven elusive. A month after the shooting, the government claimed he was the "accidental” victim of cross-fire between rival cartel gangs. 

But the archdiocese's lawyers dispute that claim. In their new book, "The Jackals,” they insist that Card. Posadas Ocampo was the victim of a government-sponsored murder plot.

JESUS BECERRA PEDROTE
Author, Los Chacales
"I took part in the interrogation of high-ranking politicians, mid-level officials, and drug lords. For example I interviewed El Chapo Guzman. I interviewed Horacio Montenegro, the army intelligence chief. I interviewed El Chapo's bodyguard. I couldn't keep all this to myself.”

The motive for the murder remains unclear. Though its widely viewed as an attempt to silence the cardinal from speaking out against the links between the government and organized crime.

After the end of one-party rule, the new government opened up a new investigation into the murder, but has yielded little results to this day. The attorneys in the case said they will continue pressing for answers and accountability.

JESUS BECERRA PEDROTE
Author, Los Chacales
"What's my intention? What my shepherds have asked of me, and what a large group of lay people have determined: this crime cannot go unpunished.”

CARD. FRANCISCO ROBLES ORTEGA
Archbishop of Guadalajara (Mexico)
"We have a right to know the truth. With someone executed with such cruelty, we have a right to know who killed him and why. And that justice is handed down to the person or people who ordered and carried out his murder.”

Meanwhile, current Guadalajara Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega said no act of violence will intimidate the Church. He added that despite the ongoing clashes between cartels and the military, they will continue their work in tending to their flocks, and protecting the well-being of the people.


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