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Jesuits in Mexico call for an end to cartel lawlessness


On June 22, Jesuits Javier Campos and Joaquín Mora were murdered by a hitman for the Sinaloa cartel in the Tarahumara mountains in northern Mexico. These two priests were very close to the people and able to speak the indigenous languages.

A few minutes before they were killed, the same hitman also killed two lay people. The Jesuits in the region are asking the government for a response.

FR. JAVIER ÁVILA, S.J.
Society of Jesus, Mexico
There has to be some decisive, radical decision to put an end to the lawlessness. Because, if not, this will continue in the same way; it will stay the same. As I said from the beginning: hugs are no longer enough to cover the bullets. They are not enough because there is too much death, too much persecution. There is too much impunity.

Two days after the attacks, Pope Francis prayed at his General Audience for the victims.

POPE FRANCIS
So many murders in Mexico! I am united in affection and prayer to the Catholic community impacted by this tragedy. Once again, I repeat that violence does not solve problems but increases the amount of useless suffering.

FR. JAVIER ÁVILA, S.J.
Society of Jesus, Mexico
For us, it was really a moment of consolation. The Pope realizes what is happening to us. And above all, not only does he realize it, but he publicly expresses worldwide solidarity.
The Pope's solidarity speaks to us as the Society of Jesus.

The Jesuits are grateful for the support they have received from the government and the Mexican Episcopal Conference, in particular, the "courageous" communiques that were published calling for a response to the cartel violence.

The Society of Jesus announced that they are not leaving the region. There, they have a hospital, two Jesuit parishes and they celebrate Mass in a diocesan parish as well.

FR. JAVIER ÁVILA, S.J.
Society of Jesus, Mexico
For the time being, we are not leaving Tarahumara. Not at all. On the contrary, we are strengthening the workforce in Tarahumara. Our choice is them. And we can't run away at the first sound of gunfire. That is not the way for Christians and much less for members of the Society of Jesus. We are still present here.

They hope that the sacrifice of Javier Campos and Joaquín Mora will not be in vain. And they ask that with the collaboration of the Church and the government, the cartels will soon disappear from Mexico.


RM
TR: KG