Kidnapped Mexican Priest Found Dead On Christmas Day

Father Gregorio Lopez Gorostieta, a Mexican priest, was found dead on Thursday with a gun shot wound to the head. It is believed that he was kidnapped after Sunday mass or sometime Monday morning from Ciudad Altamirano’s seminary, where he taught. The priest’s body was found in the crime-riddled Guerrero state, tucked away in an alley of the Mexican city where he worked, Ciudad Altamirano.

Father Lopez is the third Mexican priest to be kidnapped and killed in Guerrero state. Many believe the deaths are linked to the numerous drug gangs.

ABC News reports that church officials are distraught over the recent murders. Bishop Maximino Martinez Miranda states that a group had been seen lurking around the seminary on Sunday and Monday, prior to the disappearance of Priest Lopez.

Bishop Martinez says there has been enough violence, saying, “We are tired of pain and delinquency, injustice and corruption.”

The Bishop added that, “We want the incidents to be clarified, as well as the death of so many people in Guerrero state. We live in a moment of violence.”

“This is another priest added to those who have died for their love of Christ. Enough already of so much pain, of so many murders. Enough already of so much crime. Enough extortions.”

No suspects or motives are currently known.

CNN states that Bishop Martinez wants justice for the priest and other victims, leaving it up to Mexican officials.

He stated, “There is a moment when priests come out to reclaim justice for the people, and that perhaps does not please everyone. There are many hypotheses. We are leaving this in the hands of the corresponding authorities.”

The Mexican state has been plagued with violence over the years, mostly due to drug cartels and corrupt politicians. BBC News notes the death of two other priests. The first was Catholic priest Father John Ssenyondo, whose remain were found in a mass grave. He had been missing since April.

The other Mexican priest to be found was from the same diocese as Father Lopez. Father Ascension Acuna Osorio’s body was found floating in a river about an hour away from Ciudad Altamirano’s Cathedral.

Unfortunately, the violence does not end there for the Mexican state. Recently, five bodies were found mutilated and discarded in a vehicle in Chilapa, Guerrero.

On Wednesday, December 24, before Priest Lopez’s body was found, the priests held a protest asking for his release. They carried signs with “Ya Basta,” or “Enough Already,” written on them.

[Image via BBC]