PULSE NEWS MEXICO
After two Jesuit priests were murdered in the northern state of Chihuahua on June 20, and numerous other members of the Catholic clergy in Mexico have come forth reporting cases of abuse and extortion by organized criminal groups, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) on Friday, July 8, called on its rival criminal organizations to “not mess with” religious leaders, according to a video released on social media.
“By this means, I am communicating with all the cartels to invite them to stick to waging war between us, and to not mess with those with whom we should not mess, that is, any religious group or pastors or followers, especially Catholics,” a man who claimed to be a CJNG leader said in the one-minute video.
“Priests are not be attacked, as they have been lately.”
The man, who identified himself as Nemesio “Mencho” Oseguera, leader of the CJNG, went on to say that clergy “deserve special respect because they are people who only dedicate themselves to giving the word of God and helping those who need it.”
“We must respect them and not bother them, much less attack them, as has been seen lately,” he said.
The alleged NGJC leader, who was surrounded by other men carrying subjects armed with 7.62 and 50 caliber rifles, added that doctors, nurses and teachers who go to the rural areas should also be considered as protected and allowed to ,”do their work.”
“My cartel does not interfere with any religion, and let’s not bother doctors or teachers,” he said,
On June 20, Jesuit priests Javier Campos, 79, and Joaquín Mora, 80, who had been working for decades in Chihuahua’s Sierra Tarahumara, were murdered in their parish after assisting a tour guide who was being chased by José Noriel Portillo, aka “El Chueco,” alleged leader of a cell of the Sinaloa Cartel.
Then, on July 3, another priest, Mateo Calvillo Paz was beaten as he entered his vehicle to the municipality of Queréndaro, located approximately 45 kilometers from Morelia, Michoacán.
These and other recent assaults on Catholic and other clergy in Mexico have outraged many against President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), who is widely believed to be in cahoots with the Sinaloa Cartel.