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America

2013-02-04

AMERICA/COLOMBIA - 2 priests murdered in less than 15 days

Ocoña (Agenzia Fides) - Another priest killed in Colombia. Fr. Luis Alfredo Suárez Salazar belonged to the Archdiocese of Villavicencio in the Department of Meta and was spending his holidays in his hometown, Ocaña, in the North of Santander (on the border with Venezuela).
The murder took place in the district of Martinete, where two gunmen on a motorcycle fired at least a dozen shots at the priest and two other people who were with him. According to a local radio station (who interviewed the Police Commander of Santander) the killers did not intend to kill the priest, but one of the people next to him.
Fr. Salazar celebrated Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Torcoroma in Ocaña on the morning of February 2 and according to the first versions of the police, the attack happened while he was walking near the church of San Agustini.
Less than 15 days ago, on January 16, another priest had been killed in Colombia in the city of Buga (see Fides 17/01/2013). According to the police in Buga, on that occasion it had been a robbery which ended in tragedy. Fr.José Francisco Velez Echeverri, 55, was very involved in social work and had, according to the testimonies of the faithful, no enemies. The murder has caused dismay and deep sorrow in the Diocese of Buga, led by His Exc. Mgr. José Roberto Ospina Leongómez. According to the 2012 annual report of Fides, six priests had been killed in America, two in Brazil, two in Mexico, one in Colombia and one in Guatemala. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 04/02/2013)

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