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Body Of Catholic Priest Found In Southern Mexico

NPR's Carrie Kahn reports that the body of a kidnapped Catholic priest has been discovered after he was seized in the southern state of Guerrero earlier this week.

The body of Rev. Gregorio Lopez Gorostieta was found with a gunshot wound to the head, not far from the seminary where he lived near Ciudad Altamirano. Carrie says he is the third priest this year to be killed in Guerrero, where 43 students were kidnapped by corrupt police and presumably murdered by drug traffickers. Gorostieta is the first, however, to have been seized since the students disappeared in September.

Carrie says: "Priests have been targeted in the region known as the 'hot lands,' which borders Guerrero and Michoacán states and is the center of violent battles between drug gangs. Priests in the region have been pressured to provide quick baptisms and marriages for traffickers."

In a statement, the Mexican Council of Bishops called on authorities to clear up the murder of Gorostieta and the others in the region.

The Associated Press says:

"The motive in Lopez Gorostieta's killing remains unclear; Bishop Maximino Martinez said a group had been seen lurking around the seminary where the priest taught on the outskirts of Ciudad Altamirano, Guerrero, on Sunday and Monday. Lopez Gorostieta was apparently kidnapped by the gang early Monday; his truck was found abandoned two days later."

"'This is another priest added to those who have died for their love of Christ,' Bishop Martinez said. 'Enough already of so much pain, of so many murders. Enough already of so much crime. Enough extortions.'"

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.
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