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Mexican anti-drug trafficking priest meets with Pontiff

May 18, 2017

At his May 17 general audience in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis met briefly with Father Alejandro Solalinde, a Mexican priest who has worked to oppose the nation’s drug traffickers, who have placed a $1-million bounty on his head.

Father Solalinde, a vocal opponent of police corruption, works with impoverished migrant youth in Ixtepec, in the southern part of Mexico. He estimates that drug-trafficking gangs murder 25,000 people in Mexico every year and have kidnapped 27,000 people in the last decade.

“I’m not afraid of death,” the 72-year-old priest said. “If you love and if you have faith, you cannot be afraid to die.”


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