Archbishop Felipe Aguirre Franco of Acapulco, Mexico has confirmed that one priest and two seminarians were killed last week in the city of Altamirano in the Mexican state of Guerrero.
According to the newspaper “Milenio,” Archbishop Aguirre said during a press conference that Father Habacuc Hernandez Benitez, and seminarians Eduardo Oregon Benitez and Silvestre Gonzalez Cambron, were on their way to a vocations meeting when assailants fired upon their vehicle.
“Right now we don’t know exactly what happened. We assume that they saw that they were young people, there was a confrontation and they were driving in their car and didn’t stop,” the archbishop said.
He said officials from the four surrounding dioceses would be meeting on Monday and Tuesday of this week and that afterwards a statement would be issued.
The archbishop called the incident “a very painful blow to Guerrero and to the Church in the Diocese of Altamirano,” and added that, “We are saddened by the murder of the priest and the two young men, who were part of the seminary family.”
He said people in the region feel like they are hostages in the violent confrontations and revenge attacks between the drug cartels. “This has become contagious, as others imitate these violent actions and live by the law of the jungle,” the archbishop stated.
Expressing concern about the further spread of violence, Archbishop Aguirre said the diocese would be asking for increased security.
“We need the help of God, but there is no panic. We will only take the necessary precautions to prevent misunderstandings,” he said.