Mexican bishops blast federal foray on Michoacán mass

The Mexican Catholic bishops’ conference issued a statement criticizing federal police for bursting into a Mass to apprehend an alleged cartel lieutenant Aug. 3. “We make an energetic protest against the lack of respect and the violence exercised on the part of the forces responsible for guaranteeing the security of all persons in our nation…by interrupting a religious act…at the moment in which holy Mass is celebrated,” the bishops said in a statement signed by Auxiliary Bishop Jose Gonzalez Gonzalez of Guadalajara, conference secretary-general. “Nothing explains this kind of action inside a religious place and much less in these moments where Mexico is noted internationally as an insecure and violent country.” (Catholic News Service, Aug. 4)

Authorities detained Miguel Angel Beraza AKA “La Troca” (the Truck) and another suspect after surrounding a church in Apatzingan, Michoacan state. About 40 others at the Mass were detained for questioning. The acting administrator of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, Michele Leonhart, said Beraza is a high-ranking lieutenant in La Familia drug cartel, suspected of moving a half-ton of crystal methamphetamine into the United States each month. She called his arrest the result of a “resolute partnership” between the US and Mexico. (WP, Aug. 4)

See our last post on Mexico’s narco wars.

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