Thursday, September 22, 2016



Note: the PRI also has a long history of being very anti church. Several photos, etc. at link.
A long unpleasant read.
From the good folks at Borderland Beat.

Dozens of Catholic Priests murdered under Calderon-EPN administration
by Lucio for Borderland Beat- this is a republished post from March 2015-see post of today of two priest murdered this week by using this link

Mexico is the most dangerous nation for priests in the world

Catholic Priests, are among the bravest drug war heroes of Mexico, and they are being killed at an escalating and appalling rate. Few are reporting the full story, or are reporting the numbers inaccurately, including the Catholic Church.

The fact that Mexico is one of the most dangerous places on earth for reporters is well known, what is far less written about is the violence perpetrated against Catholic Priests.

Mexico is officially now the most dangerous place on earth for Catholic Priests. While long in the top group of most dangerous places for priests, Mexico is now its leader. For the sixth consecutive year, Mexico tops the list in murders and disappearances of Catholic priests in Latin America.

What must be established, murders and kidnappings of priests receive little attention outside regional reporting hubs. It is a perplexing, how a story of dozens of priests being murdered by cartels during 2 administrations goes unrecognized, or for example, a story about 5 priests being killed in November–December of 2013 in Tamaulipas and Veracruz, is but a tiny blip on the media radar.

Inaccuracy of numbers
It must be pointed out, that priests are kidnapped, often from churches or rectories, but the "disappearance" never budges from being labeled as such, to being counted as "killed" or "dead", unless there is a body. Those kidnapped and not found, are not recorded on a drug war casualty list.

In fairness, neither is any other group of people, which renders summations weak and without merit.

Nonetheless, the point being, as the title of this post says; ' "dozens" of priests killed during the Calderon-Peña Administrations', astonishing in of itself, still is an accurate tally.

Then there is misreporting, much like municipalities are known to ascribe to, in attempting to lower the rate of violence.

For example, with four days remaining in 2012, in the state of Michoacán, padre Santiago Álvarez Figueroa, vanished. Although he had received dozens of death threats leading up to his disappearance, Authorities were quick to discount he had fallen prey to organized crime, instead this story was offered, "we think he was in an automobile accident", this was reported by Jesus Reyes Garcia of the governor's office, who later revised the version when the vehicle of the priest was not found and parishioners rejected the account.

What is known, Father Santiago, 27, had just finished celebrating Mass in the tiny town of Jacona, he entered his car and headed home to his hometown of Paredones. He called one of the nuns, advising he was on his way back home.
He never arrived.

Reyes is now incarcerated for collusion with organized crime, he was temporary governor while Governor Fausto Vallejo Figueroa was in the U.S. getting a new liver. Vallejo Figueroa resigned on the heels of the controversy of his son's arrest. His son known as 'El Gerber', was arrested after a Tutateca video of him with the Caballeros Templarios leader surfaced.

Santiago's body was never found. He is not listed as murdered, he is with the other priests in perpetual limbo on the "disappeared" list. His Bakersfield, California, family, has no doubt he was murdered by organized crime, most likely the culprits are Caballeros Templarios.

Torture, including rape prior to murder

Organized crime killings of priests are particularly brutal.

The recovered bodies of priests depict odious, barbaric torture and killing. Decapitation, dismemberment, incineration, strangulation, drowning, torture and rape are the methods used against priests in additional to the "conventional" killing methods of gunshot, or stabbings.

Take the case of Padre John Ssenyondo of Chilapa, Guerrero. The Ugandan priest loved his adopted country of Mexico, and wanted better for its people. He had lived in Guerrero for 5 years, preaching to the most impoverished if Mexican populous. And by all accounts his parishioners loved the outgoing priest with the quick wide smile.

But they also worried about his safety. For his sermons had become strong and firm against organized crime. Many think that was his downfall.

In April of 2014, Padre John disappeared while traveling back from conducting mass (service) in the mountains of Guerrero. His disappearance went almost without notice, if not for the discovery of a mass grave.

The Catholic Church was quiet about the case, the regional rector of the cathedral, Javier Casarrubias Carballido, never commented on the missing Priest.

Parishioners spoke among themselves, a persistent rumor was that a cartel leader asked the priest to baptize his child, and the request was denied. That scenario seems unlikely, since in the Catholic religion, the sins of the father would be deemed irrelevant to the child.

The other scenario is the more likely of the two, the priest would not heed to warnings to halt sermons against organized crime. He had begun drawing the link of local officials and organized crime.

A mass grave was discovered in the outskirts of Chilapa, Chilapa is about 30 miles east of Chilpancingo, the state capital.

The remains of Padre John were among the 13 bodies buried in a mass narco fosa. The bodies were decapitated and dismembered, and incomplete. Padre John's skull and various other bones were discovered, he was identified by dental records.

Why are priest targeted?

Long held rumors of priests ingratiating themselves towards organized crime groups for financial gain, benefiting their parishes, is persistent, but inaccurate. That would be the exception not the norm. Organized crime regards priests as the enemy. The following lists a few of the reasons why.

Sermons: outspoken priests, who preaching against organized crime, and the collusion of government officials and police. Organized crime groups prefer to remain under the radar, and feel threatened by those who may encourage an organized backlash against their activities. Same can be said about municipal governments and police.

Assisting Economic Migrants: Migrants, mostly from Central America, are highly exploited by cartels, and are at the core of narco occupational diversification. For example the sex trade, kidnapping, extortion, human trafficking, and forcible recruitment into cartel work including becoming sicarios (hitmen). Those who shelter migrants and advocate for migrant issues, interrupt business, resulting in bottom line impact. Catholic clergy are the operators of 95% of migrant shelters. They are also their greatest advocacy group, in and out of Mexico.

Who can ever forget the images of 72 migrants slaughtered in Tamaulipas in 2010? 72 human beings, executed for the crime of refusing recruitment into the Los Zetas cartel.

Throughout Mexico Catholic Priests create a safe haven for migrants. Priests provide migrants shelter, assistance, medical care and other forms of care. Cartels consider this an intrusion into their source of revenue. Priests who run the migrant shelters such as Casa Migrante's are constantly being threatened.

Catholic based Rehab Centers:Alcohol and drug rehab centers have become fewer in number than two years ago. There were a string of attacks by cartels, resulting in the destruction of centers or mass killings of inhabitants. 19 killed in a Chihuahua rehab in photo at left.

Cartels exploit the centers, extorting and forcibly recruit sicarios and drug traffickers, often death threats are realized when a rehab group resists. Others are killed for failing to pay for drugs or betraying a dealer.

Supporting Autodefensa Movements: Autodefensa groups are organized as a union consisting of 13 states. Some priests are targeted because of their support of these groups, or direct involvement.
Refusing requests: In the narco world, it is notable that there are large groups of Santería followers. Although the religious based cult is syncretized with Catholicism and Mesoamerican, it is strictly condemned by the religion. Small "Santeria Chapels" are erected that seem to pop up overnight, that "honor" the Santeria offshoot Nuestra Señora de la Santa Muerte.

While there are millions of good people, often the marginalized people of society, which practice the "religion", with no intention to harm others. It is organized crime that have taken it to a sinister level, thinking that Santa Muerte will protect them from harm or imprisonment while they conduct criminality, including murder.

This Santa Muerte chapel was bulldozed in Allende

This Acuña chapel was destroyed in 2013

In 2013, Tamaulipas and Veracruz priests began receiving demands that Catholic altars in churches feature statues of Santa Muerte. Going further that masses be said in honor of Santa Muerte. Parishioners say It is because of the refusals that some priests disappeared.

Extortion: Cartels treat priests/churches no differently than any other business in Mexico, they too are victims of extortion.

Three padres in the cross-hairs
Mexican priests are as a group vulnerable to attack, but there are priests that are standouts in the field of danger.

Gregorio Lopez, better known as 'Padre Goyo' Michoacán

Padre Goyo, is arguably the most outspoken priest in Mexico today. Of the 7 Apatzingán Michoacán priests whose life have been threaten in 2014, he tops the list of most reviled by organized crime, and corrupt government, both municipal, state and federal.

A champion of the autodefensa movement, he was directly involved with the group. The bullet proof vest wearing priest is a close friend and ally to the imprisoned autodefensa leader and social activist, Dr Manuel Mireles.

In 2014, Goyo's brother, "Luis Jerónimo", was kidnapped by the Caballeros Templarios, with a message for his priest brother….. CT kidnappers sent a warning to Goyo, to back off his involvement in the AD movement, and foremost, no further complaints about their activity and conflicts to the press and on the pulpit. For his part, if anything Goyo stepped up his game, on speech tours of the US and contacting U.S. government officials about the run-away violence and corruption.

Recently, Padre Goyo appeared before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and met with New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, on the last leg of his US tour,
"We in Mexico, are terrorized and are governed by organized crime," he charged.
Luis Jerónimo, 39, was released after a few days of captivity and then decided to leave Mexico and appeared before the immigration authorities at the border crossing of San Ysidro, California to seek asylum.

However, instead, the immigrant was sent to a detention center , where he remained for nearly a year without being granted bail and exposed to immediate deportation.

"It is inhuman what they did with this immigrant is a clear example of what happens when it is not well known law that confers asylum. He was a perfect candidate for his release in a few weeks and with a minimum bond "said Alex Galvez, immigration attorney who secured the release of Jerome.

Bishop Raul Vera López -Coahuila
Vera López is an avowed advocate for human rights and social justice. He is another priest who sets aside his personal safety in favor of expressing his views against abuse of power, corruption, absence of the rule of law and violations of human rights. He is an advocate for the marginalized people of Mexico, bucking the Vatican, he publicly welcomed gays into the parish.

He opposes the fact that, although Mexico is not really a poor country, more than half of its 110 million people live below the poverty line. He stresses they also increasingly live in fear. Waves of murders and violence have followed in the wake of criminal cartels' brutal warfare to control the cartel drug trade.

He has traveled to D.C. to speak about cartel violence, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and corruption of Mexico. He has also demanded investigations into the thousands of migrants who have gone missing while passing through the state of Coahuila and clamored for a DNA database to identify bodies.

He and Padre Goyo traveled to D.C. to the Human Rights Commission to report of the Iguala abuses and murders, a year before the now famous attacks in September on students by police.

He operates one of the largest migrant shelters in Mexico. It is located in his home base of Saltillo, the capital of Coahuila. Borderland Beat administrator Chivis Martinez has assisted the shelter since the murder of 72 migrants of Tamaulipas. She reports the shelter is exceptional, temporarily housing over 100 migrants.

While padre Goyo toured the U.S. his friend Bishop Vera traveled to Berlin. In Berlin, outspoken bishop of Saltillo, presented a petition of 7,500 names to the German interior minister, asking for the suspension of negotiations over a security accord between Germany and Mexico.

The accord would facilitate collaboration in the fight against organized crime. The bishop says that any additional force given to Mexican police would be used against citizens.
"It won't be used against organized crime because organized crime and the government are very good friends. They have an understanding between them. Ayotzinapa demonstrated that."
The heavily awarded priest was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012.

Padre Alejandro Solalinde Guerra
In 2007 Solalinde founded the shelter "Hermanos en el Camino" in Ciudad Ixtepec, Oaxaca, whose mission is to provide a safe shelter for migrants and to offer them food, medical and and legal aid.

Since then he has been a target of both corrupt local government and cartels.

Padre Solalinde has been arrested and imprisoned for his work with migrants. Cartels send death threats to him on a regular basis, ordering him to cease speaking about migrant abuses and sheltering migrants. Solalinde says there are over 100,000 migrants that have disappeared since the beginning of the Mexican drug war.

"Ma'am, tell the governor that it shall only be over my dead body…"

The priest recalls the harassment during the government of PRI governor, Ulises Ruiz, and how he resisted the persecution:
"Ulises Ruiz was behind a mega business using migrants. Two municipal presidents in Ixtepec wanted to make a business with the arrival of the immigrants through kidnappings, extortion, etc.
But I was in their way. I was and am a hindrance for the PRI. I have not allowed it, nor am I going to allow it, even at the cost of them doing a number of things to me, they even were going to kill me.
"I confronted Ulises Ruiz, not personally, because I don't have the displeasure of knowing him, but in Washington he sent a spokesperson and there in the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights on March 20th, 2010. I said to the rapporteur, 'The governor Ulises Ruiz, the only thing he asks for is the closing of the shelter or, failing that, he asks that it is placed on the other side of the bridge."
At the moment Solalinde intervened and asked some key questions:
"Why are they want to get rid of it? Perhaps it is a problem for the businesses that the governor wants so he can exploit the migrants, to kidnap them and do all of that to them? Ma'am, tell the governor that it shall only be over my dead body. I explained to Rodrigo Escobar, the rapporteur, about the ruthless zone of exploitation and slavery and human trafficking they want to set up. That's why the situation is getting worse. Now Ixtepec has changed parties. It is with the PRD, it no longer attacks us and it has had goodwill while approaching us."
In May of 2012 Padre Solalinde left Mexico in exile for two months, this after a near kidnapping and an undisclosed specific threat.

He is also a supporter of Dr. Mireles and is a co-member of "Yo soy autodefensa".

Padre Solalinde visits abandoned migrants deported from the U.S. but far from Central American homes.
The U.S. mostly deports central Americans just over the south border and orders them to walk into Mexico, Tijuana is filled with displaced
migrants. With no resources, constant threats, they are sitting ducks, men and women lost in limbo.

Tamaulipas and Veracruz 5-6 priests kidnapped/killed in 2 months

In the last months of 2013, at least 5 priests were taken and all presumed dead in southern Tamaulipas.

Carlos Ornelas Puga, (left) was kidnapped on November 3rd. He was taken at gunpoint, from a parish in the municipality of Jiménez, although he belonged to the diocese of Ciudad Victoria. The Catholic Church did not confirm this for over a week.

On November 29, 2013 priests Hipólito Villalobos Lima and Nicolas de la Cruz Martinez were executed in the parish of San Cristóbal de Ixhuatlán de Madero, Veracruz.

In December two additional priests vanished in Tamaulipas, "In recent days two other priests disappeared from Ciudad Victoria," said the church source who asked to remain anonymous.

The murdered victim was identified as Guillermo Amaro Caésar, who died from a beating by suspected members of organized crime using bats. However, state authorities downplayed version, says the priest was victim of an 'assault".

Also in December 2013 another priest beating, who belongs to the parish of the Good Shepherd was also reported. It is presumed that he refused to officiate a Mass requested by organized crime to be held in the church and dedicated to Santa Muerte.

The authorities of the Catholic Church and the state government are dilatory or have not given information regarding the attacks against priests.

Also in 2013.

February: Bishop José Flores Preciado, in the Temple of Christ del Rey, in the city of Colima, Colima. The 83 year old was beaten to death.The day after the killing, Bishop Jose Luis Amezcua Melgoza revealed that 30 of the of the 123 priests of Colima, had been the victims of attempted extortion, including himself.

July: Father Ignacio Cortés Álvarez, "Nachito" was the priest in charge of the parish, "María Auxiliadora" in Ensenada, Baja California. The priest had suffered over 2 dozen stab wounds. His killers found the priest in the rectory living room, where the murder took place. Ensenada is one of the most violent cities in BC.

In 2014 Guerrero lost three priests

September- José Ascensión Acuña Osorio
November-John Ssenyondo
December- Gregorio López Gorostieta

The not so solid numbers in the cartel war against Mexican Catholic priests

Numbers are all over the place. To achieve the greatest accuracy in numbers requires researching

regional newspapers and media. Often it is only there that a story will appear. Then there is the issue of kidnapped priests whose body are never found, of never making the killed list.

In effect, if the skull of padre John Ssenyondo had not been found in October, he would still be on the missing list. The fact that the Church has been reluctant to confirm or report kidnappings of priests only compounds the problem, and gives greater protection to cartels.

For the record, this is more or less the 'Official' accounting for the Calderon and EPN administrations. On face value it is horrific enough, but nowhere near depicting the factual numbers or the complete story of, the cartel war against Mexican Catholic priests.

During the Felipe Calderon administration:

12 priests murdered
162 recorded threats against priests in one year
1000 extortion crimes against priests
During the Enrique Peña Nieto administration there have been 10 priests murdered
Noticeably missing are numbers of missing or disappeared priests.

States with the greatest number of crime against priests

Most of these states are in southern Mexico, where the most marginalized peoples live. The impoverished, indigenous, darker skinned Mexicans who are prejudiced against, including the government who traditionally suppresses people of the south, and denies southern inhabitants basic resources afforded citizens in other regions.

Federal District (DF/Mexico City)
Borderland Beat Reporter Lucio Posted at 2:01 PM



Miércoles 21 | Monterrey, NL

El gobernador Jaime Rodríguez dio en Montemorelos el banderazo de salida a la nueva Policía Rural.

Con el nombre de Fuerza Rural, la nueva corporación está integrada por 280 elementos que estarán desplegados en siete grupos por diferentes regiones del estado.

El secretario de Seguridad Pública, Cuauhtémoc Antúnez, dijo que la dependencia tiene una capacitación especial y combatirán delitos propios de la zona rural, como robo de ganado, tala ilegal y caza furtiva.

"Esta corporación brindará seguridad pública, vigilancia y protección regional en caminos y carreteras estatales, vías primarias vecinales y municipales, zonas rurales, áreas de recreo y turísticas, así como las instalaciones estratégicas del Gobierno del Estado", expuso.


Cero tolerancia a 'coyotes': Infonavit
Detalles Publicado el Miercoles 21 de Septiembre de 2016,
Escrito por Redacción

Cd. de México.

Trabajan Infonavit y PGR para prevenir malas prácticas y castigar "coyotaje"..
Con el objetivo de proteger a los derechohabientes, el Infonavit informó que trabaja con la Unidad Especializada en la Investigación de Delitos en contra de Derechos de Autor y de la Propiedad Industrial, de la Procuraduría General de la República, para prevenir y combatir cualquier intento de "coyotaje" de supuestos asesores financieros, en el programa Mejoravit.
Si bien, a menos de dos meses de haber relanzado el programa de Mejoravit, no existen denuncias por prácticas indebidas, el Infonavit ha emprendido una estrategia proactiva de investigación, con la PGR, para combatir de raíz el fenómeno del "coyotaje".
Es importante mencionar que cada anuncio no autorizado y publicado en redes sociales respecto a la supuesta "asesoría financiera" para la obtención del crédito Mejoravit, está siendo investigado; hasta el momento, hay 18 casos identificados en Facebook y Twitter, en los que se ha usado el signo distintivo "Infonavit", los cuáles han arrojado ya direcciones y números telefónicos.


Teme por su vida tercera víctima de secuestradores
Detalles Publicado el Miercoles 21 de Septiembre de 2016,
Escrito por Cesar Barragan / El Diario


Una tercera víctima de la banda de secuestradores puestos en libertad por un juez penal teme por su seguridad y desconfía del proceder de las autoridades.
Uno de los afectados, de 30 años de edad, y quien interpuso en su momento su denuncia, señaló conocer a un tercer afectado por estos sujetos que se dedicaban a privar de la libertad a sus víctimas para luego despojarlas de sus pertenencias, pero éste no ha interpuesto su denuncia pues teme por su seguridad y hasta ya abandonó su trabajo, además de desconfiar del actuar de las autoridades.
El joven declarante manifestó sentirse indignado con el proceder del titular del Juzgado Oral de lo Penal por haber liberado a los dos sujetos que identifica como quienes lo privaron de su libertad.
"Cuando me enteré que habían sido detenidos vine, identifiqué el auto y a los delincuentes y me recomendaron poner denuncia en la Agencia Primera del Ministerio Público.
"No me trataron muy bien al llegar, una mujer se notaba molesta y me decía que me apurara porque no tenía tiempo, pero ya que me pasaron con las autoridades ya fueron amables, sin embargo no sirvió de nada pues a las horas me enteré que un juez los había dejado en libertad", expresó. La víctima señaló sentir temor por su persona y su familia ya que los secuestradores tienen sus pertenencias con credenciales donde aparece su dirección.
"No puedo comprender porqué los dejaron libres, cómo una decisión del juez solo sirva para proteger a los delincuentes y sirva para poner más en peligro a quienes fuimos víctimas.
"Siento temor y ahora no tengo tranquilidad, ni puedo andar solo por las calles, pero también necesito que se haga justicia y por eso estoy aquí ratificando la denuncia", indicó
Otra víctima, de 23 años de edad, señaló que fue citado ante el MP para ser orientado sobre la impugnación que se hará a la resolución que dictó el Juez Ramón Cordova Barraza, quien negó en dos ocasiones la orden de aprehensión a los inculpados y derivó en la libertad de éstos.
Se dio a conocer que entre las pertenencias que traían los secuestradores hoy libres, se encontraban algunos objetos propiedad de sus víctimas, mismos que fueron identificados plenamente por ellos.
Los afectados señalaron que están haciendo todo lo posible por la vía legal, ahora se suman otras denuncias contra los mismos secuestradores y esperan que ahora sí el juez actúe en favor de los afectados y no de los criminales que andan causando terror en las calles.


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