Two Jesuit priests, Father Javier Campos Morales and Father Joaquín César Mora Salazar, were killed on Monday, June 20, in Mexico, in the church of Cerocahui, a remote village in the Sierra Tarahumara in the northern state of Chihuahua. The two religious are said to have attempted to give refuge in the local community church to a parishioner being pursued by a gunman, who then opened fire in the sacred place, killing all three people.
Fr. Luis Gerardo Moro Madrid, Father Provincial of the Mexican Province of the Society of Jesus, announced the deaths the following day. His brief message was then followed by a hard, dramatic communiqué with which the Mexican Jesuits, in addition to condemning the incident, ask that “all protective measures be taken immediately to safeguard the lives of our Jesuit brothers, sisters, lay people and the entire community of Cerocahui.”
The Mexican Jesuits condemned the killings to make known “the pain felt by our people because of the prevailing violence and in solidarity with so many people who suffer the same situation, without their suffering attracting the solidarity and attention of public opinion.” This solidarity and closeness with the people was also witnessed and confirmed by the first reactions on social media by brother Jesuits, citizens and parishioners of Cerocahui.