By Jaime Septién and J-P Mauro | Apr 19, 2018
The Mexican Church is again in mourning
Just minutes before officiating a 6:30 p.m. Mass, father Rubén Alcántara Díaz (50 years old) was murdered Wednesday as he made his way inside the Nuestra Señora del Carmen church, located in Cuautitlán Izcalli, State of Mexico (north of Mexico City, on the outskirts of the metropolis).
A few minutes later, municipal and state police officers arrived at the scene and cordoned off the area, located between Miraluna and Miramar streets in the Cumbria neighborhood. The Attorney General’s Office of the State of Mexico has begun their investigation.
The vicious attack came with no apparent reason.
Eye witness accounts are still contradictory. However, according to the neighbors of the temple, Father Alcántara walked to the temple in conversation with two parishioners. As he was about to enter the parish, he was unexpectedly attacked by two alleged criminals armed with knives. The assailants stabbed the priest several times, which resulted in his death.
The Catholic Multimedial Center (CCM), an organization that has dedicated itself to denouncing the assassinations of priests and the violence against them which occurs unceasingly in the Mexican nation, lamented the assassination of Father Alcántara and recalled that so far in the six-year term in charge of President Enrique Peña Nieto, 22 priests have been murdered.
“With deep sadness we report the murder of Father Rubén Alcántara Díaz, who was Judicial Vicar of the Diocese of Izcalli. Unfortunately with the death of Father Alcántara, there are already 22 priests killed so far in the present administration,” the CCM published on their social networks.
The CMM reported that there was no immediate explanation for the murder. The priest was seen arguing with his killer prior to the attack, who fled the scene quickly afterward. CMM has previously commented that Mexico leads Latin America in the killing of clergy.
Count of horrors
The last deadly attack on Mexican priests happened in the State of Guerrero, on February 5, when Father Germaín Muñiz García, 39, of Mártir de Cuilapan, was gunned down along with Father Iván Añorve Jaimes, 37 years old, originally from Acapulco.
In 2017, four priests were killed. Father Felipe Altamirano Carrillo, indigenous priest of the premature Nayar, in Nayarit; Father Joaquín Hernández, from the Diocese of Saltillo; Father Luis López Villa, 73 years old, from the diocese of Nezahualcóyotl; and Father José Miguel Machorro, who was brutally attacked with a knife, after celebrating Mass in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico City.
Since the current Mexican administration began, in 2012, Mexico has witnessed the murder of 22 priests. With three murders in the first four months of 2018, this year is proving, once again, to be a terrible year for the priesthood in Mexico, a nation which boasts the second largest number of Catholics in the world.