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Indigenous priest murdered in Mexico

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Prelature mourns loss of beloved brother

Photo: Father Felipe Altamirano Carrillo.

Father Felipe Altamirano Carrillo, an indigenous priest who served in Mexico's western state of Nayarit, was murdered March 26 while returning from saying Sunday Mass in one of the towns in which he served.

Father Altamirano Carrillo was killed March 26, apparently the victim of assault during a theft.

“We are seized by the pain of his loss, so premature, and the way it happened,” read a statement of the Territorial Prelature of Jesús María del Nayar, which the priest served.

“Although so far we don't have the details of this incident, we have been informed that he was returning from celebrating the Sunday Mass in the community of Cofradía, which is part of his parish, accompanied by some other people. He was driving his vehicle and at some point during the trip, they came upon some armed persons, presumably with the intention of assaulting them.”

The prelature said that “it is known that the only person who died was Father Felipe, and some of those accompanying him are injured.”

“Our prelature is mourning the loss of a very beloved brother, and we again express our most heartfelt condolences to Father Felipe's family. May Our Lord Jesus Christ and Our Most Holy Mother console them in this time of sorrow, since we trust that our brother, who has shared the cross of Christ, will now be able to enjoy his glorious resurrection,” it said.

Father Carrillo, of the Cora people, was born July 23, 1963 in Jesús María. He was president of the Indigenous Pastoral Ministry of the prelature and was serving as pastor in Mesa del Nayar, about 15 miles southwest of Jesús María.

Cardinal José Francisco Robles Ortega of Guadalajara, president of the Mexican bishops conference, issued a statement March 27 asking God for the eternal rest of Father Altamirano Carrillo, and that “the Lord may grant his relatives and friends the strength, the hope, and the consolation of the faith.”

Father Altamirano Carrillo is the second priest to have been murdered in Mexico in 2017. Father Joaquín Hernández Sifuentes of the Diocese of Saltillo, in northern Mexico, was killed in January, also seemingly while being robbed.

Drug trafficking has led to increased murder and kidnapping in Mexico, with priests not unaffected. In recent years, 17 priests in the country have been murdered.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 April 2017 14:11  

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