Gang members assassinate priest in El Salvador

.- Father Ricardo Antonio Romero, 39, was brutally assassinated Monday in the region of Sonsonate in western El Salvador.

According to local police, Father Romero, who was the former pastor of the Cathedral of Sonsonate, was walking down a street in the town of Acajutla in broad daylight when he was encircled by a group of unknown men who beat him to death with rocks and wooden clubs.

While the motive behind the killing is still unknown, local officials said the methods used were typical of the gangs that operate in the region and that are responsible for at least one murder per day.

Police said Father Romero’s murder took place around 1:30pm.

Father Romero was pastor of Santa Catalina Masahuat, located in an indigenous community in Sonsonate.  Employees at the parish said they were shocked over the news.

“We don’t really know anything, only that they killed Father, and we waiting for his remains to be brought here for the prayer vigil,” one of the employees told Reuters.

The Office for Human Rights of the Archdiocese of El Salvador expressed shock at the news of the murder and said it would begin an investigation into the motive behind the brutal killing.

El Salvador is currently suffering a wave a violence that claims more than 10 lives each day in the country.

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