Mexican Archdiocese Cancels Program After Youths Killed

Catholic officials condemned the slayings of 10 young people in the state of Durango and suspended long-running Holy Week missionary programs. Durango state judicial officials said the young people, ages 8-21, apparently failed to stop for a false checkpoint established by presumed drug cartel members March 28. At least 40 shots were fired and a grenade was tossed at the victims. They had traveled in a pickup truck from their communal farm to get funds distributed through a conditional cash-transfer program that supports 5 million of Mexico's poorest families. "We tremendously regret that this involved children. This is what outrages us the most," said Father Victor Manuel Solis, spokesman for the Durango Archdiocese. The slayings were yet another example of the increase in the number of young people who have been caught up—inadvertently or not—in cartel violence that has claimed more than 19,000 lives since December 2006. Father Solis said security concerns forced church officials to suspend long-standing Holy Week missionary programs for more than 3,000 students in Durango and the neighboring state of Chihuahua. The priest said Easter activities would not be canceled.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Greg Hicks as "Richard III" (photo: Alex Brenner)
It would be fascinating were the producers able to arrange a quick transfer to a venue somewhere near the White House.
David StewartMay 26, 2017
In the hyper-curated, beautiful world that Dev lives in, a scene that conveys the touching, ugly stubbornness of marriage seems totally impossible.
Eloise BlondiauMay 26, 2017
This image released by the Minya governorate media office shows bodies of victims killed when gunmen stormed a bus in Minya, Egypt, Friday, May 26, 2017 (Minya Governorate Media office via AP).
The attack in central Egypt today killed at least 26 people, including children aged 2 to 4, and wounded 25 others.
Gerard O'ConnellMay 26, 2017
The data and facts are clear: If you care about working families and sound economic policy, SNAP is the program for you.
Meghan J. ClarkMay 26, 2017