AMERICA/MEXICO - "We cannot get used to crime and violence and be indifferent to death": the diocese in the face of the massacre of Irapuato

Saturday, 4 July 2020 violence   armed groups   drug trade   criminality   drugs  


Guanajuato (Agenzia Fides) - "The greatest massacre of the six-year period", "Unacceptable crimes", "Yet another battle and terrible massacre", "One of the worst events in the history of Mexico", "Justice is urgently needed in Irapuato", "The government promises not to abandon Guanajuato"," 26 dead, a massacre in Irapuato", are just some of the headlines in Mexico after what happened on the afternoon of July 1st. Gunmen, about 8, burst into an unregistered drug rehabilitation centre in central Mexico and opened fire, killing at least 26 people.
The mayor and state governor agree in commenting that this is a gang fight over land ownership. The rehabilitation center is not managed by the authorities nor does it have legal permits: these are so-called "social" centers which are sometimes dance centers and sometimes voluntary recovery centers for young people with drug problems. In Irapuato alone there are about 200 centers, in suburban areas or houses occupied by these young people. According to those who live nearby, many are just local gangsters. Mexico has long had problems with rehab centres because most are privately run, underfunded and often commit abuses against recovering addicts.
"The Bishop of Irapuato, priests and the whole Christian community, regret and strongly condemn the violent acts", reads a statement from the diocese, sent to Fides. "The blood of a brother can never remain in silence or in oblivion, it invokes justice before God. We cannot get used to crime and violence and be indifferent to death".
The statement concludes by citing the Bishops of Mexico, who recall: "It is the obligation of the state to make effective the justice that implies the safety of citizens, the punishment of those who are guilty of violence and organized crime, without making exceptions in the application of the state of right. Corruption and impunity are a combination that goes hand in hand and continues to challenge us in Mexico. It is also an obligation for every Christian to build the foundations for peace and respect for life". (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 4/7/2020)