Priest killed near US-Mexico border

Priest killed near US-Mexico border

By David Ramos

Catholic News Agency

May 20, 2022

MEXICO City— The body of Father José Guadalupe Rivas Saldaña, 57, has been found with signs of violence on the outskirts of Tecate, a city located on the border with the United States in the Mexican state of Baja California. There are no suspects in the killing.

Rivas Saldaña was the pastor of Saint Jude Thaddeus parish in Tecate, about 30 miles east of Tijuana, directed Our Lady of Guadalupe Migrant House, and was advisor to the local charismatic renewal movement.

According to the local press, the body of the priest was found with multiple blows earlier this week on the outskirts of Tecate, along with the body of another unidentified man beaten beyond recognition.

The priest was last seen alive May 15. He was reported missing and the state attorney general began an investigation.

In a May 18 statement, the Archdiocese of Tijuana and Archbishop Francisco Moreno Barrón prayed for the deceased priest’s “return to the Father’s House.”

Rivas Saldaña served in the Tijuana archdiocese for more than 25 years. The archdiocese prayed “that the Risen Christ be strength and comfort for his Family.”

“Let us pray to our Heavenly Father to have mercy on him and that he may soon enjoy the Heavenly Homeland. Give him, Lord, eternal rest and may perpetual light shine upon him. Rest in peace,” the archdiocese concluded.

Rivas Saldaña was born Dec. 10, 1964, in Torreón, and was the fourth of 10 siblings. He was ordained a priest Oct. 29, 1994 by Bishop Luis Morales Reyes of Torreón.

Animalpolitico reported that “Baja California is one of the states with the highest levels of violence in the country. During the first three months of the year, it has recorded 593 first degree murders, according to the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System.”

In addition, it is estimated that the first three and a half years of the current administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been the most violent period on record in the history of Mexico, with more than 120,000 homicides.

In October 2018, another priest of the Tijuana archdiocese was murdered. The body of Father Ímar Arturo Orta, who was pastor of St. Louis parish in Tijuana, was found in an abandoned car with several bullet wounds, after he had been missing several days.

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