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MEXICO CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - Mexico City prosecutors say they have arrested a suspect for the killing of two priests found dead September 19.
In a statement released Monday, October 17, officials announced the suspect was caught October 13 after two people were arrested for hijacking a car from a couple in Mexico City at gunpoint in the El Recreo area in Mexico City. After the car was hijacked, the owner told police. They found the car abandoned and later spotted two men acting suspiciously. When approached, they fled, and were eventually overtaken and arrested.
The prosecutor's office said, "It was soon discovered that there was an arrest warrant out on one of the men for kidnapping the two priests."
Father Alejo Nabor Jiménez and Fr. José Alfredo Juarez de la Cruz, the two priests that were killed, were found dead last month on the roadside in a place known as Devil's Curve in the Mexican state of Veracruz.
The Mexican Council of Bishops released a statement about the killings, saying,
In these moments of pain and powerlessness in the face of the tragic violence we pray to the heavens for the eternal rest of our brothers and ask Our Lord for the conversion of their killers. From the authorities, we expect an investigation to clear up these acts and that those responsible be brought to justice.
Father Hugo Valdemar, spokesman for the archdiocese of Mexico City, said after the killings, "It has become clear that Mexico is the country where ministers of the Catholic Church are most at risk, which is even surprising because there is still more risk in Mexico than, for example, in Syria or in those countries where Christians are persecuted by the Islamic State."
In the same week the two priests were killed another priest was kidnapped and later also found dead, bringing the total of number of clergy killed in Mexico since 2012 to 15, and 40 within the last decade. The crime rate in Mexico continues to increase, along with persecution of Catholics, making Mexico one of the most dangerous places in the world for people of faith.