June 21, 2009

Mexican priest murdered by drugs gang

by David Masters

A priest and two seminary students were murdered by gunmen in western Mexico this weekend in an apparently motiveless attack.

Fr Habacuc Hernandez Benitez, 39, Eduardo Oregón Benítez, 19, and Silvestre González Cambrón, 21, were ordered out of their car at gunpoint and then shot dead.

The three were driving through the town of Arcelia, 105 miles north of Acapulco, on their way to a spiritual retreat they were helping to organise.

The Archbishop of Acapulco, Felipe Aguirre Franco, said the motive for the attack remains a ‘mystery’, and blamed the violence on the bitter dispute between rival drugs gangs in Guerrero state.

“The law of the jungle, the law of the revolver, of the gun, the settling of accounts, the spilling of blood” has become the only law in the region, the Archbishop said.

“We are becoming a society that is ‘Cain-izing’ itself with brothers killing brothers,” he added, calling on the Mexican authorities to intervene.

Earlier this week, Mexico’s attorney general charged 51 guards and prison officers for their complicity in the escape of 53 inmates from a prison in Zacatecas state.

CCTV footage shows prison officers at the jail standing by whilst an armed gang, disguised as policemen, entered the prison the drove off with the prisoners.

Since taking office in 2006, President Felipe Calderon has deployed 45,000 troops to tackle drugs gangs.

More than 10,000 people have been killed in drugs related violence since Calderon started deploying troops.

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