One priest refused to perform a Black Mass
The Mexican state of Tamaulipas, just south of places like Brownsville and McAllen, Texas, is a major drug trafficking corridor and the scene of frequent narco violence. MGR story links are below.
This week the Roman Catholic diocese of Tamaulipas reported that six of its parish priests have been the victims of gang or organized crime violence in recent days.
One priest died after he was beaten on the street by unidentified assailants. Another remains in serious condition after being attacked with a baseball bat. Three priests disappeared from their assigned parishes in the state capital of Ciudad Victoria, one on Nov. 3 and the others several days ago. Neither the diocese nor authorities have a clue as to their whereabouts.
Yet another priest was beaten by subjects who demanded that he celebrate Mass in a home constructed chapel dedicated to "Santa Muerte" - Holy Death. Santa Muerte, not a venerated figure in Roman Catholic theology, is a popular folk saint in Mexico. As the personification of death, she is believed by devotees to guarantee a safe voyage to the afterlife. Santa Muerte is allegedly the frequent object of worship by drug traffickers and cartel operatives, and is often associated with Mexican narco violence.
Civil law enforcement authorities in Tamaulipas have attributed the cases to common street crime, and deny that priests are being targeted.
More examples of Santa Muerte, displayed in Guadalajara for Day of the Dead, are posted on Halloween, Mexican style.
Dec. 15 - Mexico the world leader in 2013 kidnappings for ransom
Dec. 7, 2011 - Mexican archbishop: "Our priests are living side by side with drug traffickers"
MGR reports on Tamaulipas:
Aug. 17 - Mexican army captures leader of Gulf Cartel
July 12 - U.S. State Dept. issues new travel advisories for Mexico (Tamaulipas warnings)
June 4 - U.S. Marine kidnapped in Mexico May 14 is still missing
Feb. 20 - Narco terrorists launch grenade attack against capitol building in border state of Tamaulipas
Feb. 9 - U.S. travelers: a "generalized terror" of northern Mexico
Dec. 8 - Extreme narco violence marks Peña Nieto's first week
June 15 - Mexican marines arrest top financial aid to Z-40, Zeta # 2
June 8 - 14 corpses left at a Tamaulipas city hall
Mar. 31 - U.S. Consulate in Matamoros, Tamaulipas issues Emergency Warning for Americans
Dec. 29 - U.S. sailor goes out for a Christmas cup of tea, loses his life on Tampico street
Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, May 4, 2012: Bloody narco violence strikes Rio Grande border town. Such victims are frequently left hanging in the most public of places to incite terror into the local population.
Mexico has had the great courage to confront a problem which is not just Mexican, but Latin American; really, a problem which is facing the entire world - drug trafficking. Mexico has dragged the beast out of the cave where it's been hiding. Now we know that the beast is a monstrosity, powerful, enormously rich and without the slightest scruples."
Mario Vargas Llosa, 2010 Nobel Prize winner (Literature), Nov. 24, 2011.
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