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

A court decision compelling businesses to cater to same-sex weddings is a lazy response to the challenges of a pluralist society.
Robert K. VischerFebruary 28, 2017
A number of the Oscar winners and nominees have played disabled characters, but only two of them identified as disabled.
Gregg MozgalaFebruary 28, 2017
The attraction of Trump’s brand of conservatism is that it recognizes the meaning in place, patriotism and culture.
Elizabeth Stoker BruenigFebruary 28, 2017
“My folks taught us that if someone is hungry, you feed them. That if someone is thirsty, you give them drink. If someone is a stranger you welcome them into your home.”
Michael O'LoughlinFebruary 27, 2017