The bullet-ridden body of the Rev. Jose Lopez Guillen was found Sept. 24 on the highway outside Puruandiro in the western state of Michoacan, [Mexico], a region plagued by violent conflict. The 43-year-old cleric had been abducted from his home in nearby Janamuato five days earlier.
“He was an engaging personality,” said Maria Solorio, a regular at Lopez’s church. “He was an excellent priest and very devoted to the community. … What happened to him was a great injustice.”
Pope Francis will visit a prison and celebrate Mass in Ciudad Juarez, the Mexican border city plagued by violence in recent years, the Vatican has said in an announcement of details of the pontiff’s upcoming visit to Mexico.
The pope’s visit to Ciudad Juarez will conclude his six-day Mexico tour, starting on Feb. 12. The stop will draw attention to drug-related violence and the U.S. policy on migration.
While in the city on Feb. 17, Francis will tour a prison, meet with workers, and celebrate Mass at the fairgrounds close to the border. Around 220,000 people are expected to attend the Mass, with tickets offered to parishes on both sides of the Mexico-U.S. border.
According to a piece in USA Today, the congregants of one Mexican church don't think so:
A crusading Roman Catholic priest who has defied drug cartels and corrupt police to protect Central American migrants said Wednesday that church authorities are trying to smother his activist work with migrants by assigning him to parish duties.
The Rev. Alejandro Solalinde has become well known in Mexico after enduring death threats for publicly denouncing drug gangs and police who rob and kidnap Central American migrants crossing Mexico to reach the United States.
But Solalinde's diocese said he is simply being asked to start operating within the normal parish structure, and run his migrant shelter more like a church ministry and less like a lone activist's non-governmental organization.
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