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Slain Mexican priests knew assailants, prosecutor says

September 21, 2016

A Mexican prosecutor has said that two priest who were found dead in the state of Veracruz were acquainted with their assailants, and were meeting socially with them before the crime.

Father Alejo Nabor Jimenez and Father Alfredo Suarez de la Cruz were having drinks with their killers before the conversation "broke down and turned violent." He said that the priests' church was robbed only after the killings.

The prosecutor also said that one of the killers had been identified. He did not reveal how many people were involved in the crime, nor did he say whether or not the suspect had been apprehended. Parishioners in the town of Poza Rica expressed some skepticism about the prosecutor's story, according to an AP report.

When the bullet-riddled bodies of the two priests were discovered on September 19, the first suspicions turned toward the drug gangs that have been involved in a violent contest for control of the territory around Veracruz. Also, Catholic priests in Mexico have often been the targets of robbery and extortion: offering another possible explanation for the murders.

 
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