Villagers and friends narrate the work of Jesuits killed in Chihuahua

Inside and outside the community of Cerocahui, municipality of Urique, in Chihuahua, people pray that Joaquín César Mora Salazar, Morita; Javier Campos Morales, Gallo; and tour guide Pedro Eliodoro rest in peace. But they have also posted prayers on social media for their remains to appear and be buried. 
“Their bodies were taken away by armed subjects, we do not have them to bury them. They have been hours of great uncertainty and pain for this violent action that has torn from our brothers and for the safety of the Pastoral Team and all the people in Cerocahui,” Father Hernán Quezada, friend of the priests and delegate of Formation of the Jesuits Mexico, posted on Facebook.
“I met them, I saw them in their work, huge, great work that they did. How much sadness, what deep anger and pain. My fraternal embrace to all the parishioners who came to the Mission on Sundays,” said Veronica, a Chihuahuan resident.  

Morita, Gallo and Pedro were killed monday afternoon. According to Father Javier Ávila, who also works in that area, an armed man was chasing a person, who sought refuge in the church of Cerocahui.
“The armed subject was going after someone to take his life, the priests went out to see what was happening. When the armed subject shot the guy who was fleeing — which I don’t know who he was — one of the priests immediately came to give him spiritual aid and at that moment this armed person shot and victimized him; the other priest approached the criminal, who knows him because he is from that region, to calm him down, but he also killed him,” the priest Ávila told the media. This version was confirmed by the chihuahua government, adding that it was the tourist guide Pedro Eliodoro, who was taken to the church and killed along with the two Jesuits. 
On June 21 in the afternoon, the National Security Cabinet and the Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection (SSPC) reported that for this fact there was only one person responsible, whom they had already identified, however, they did not detail name or if the alleged murderer belonged to a criminal group. 

These acts of violence are not isolated, because between January and April of this year, 728 people were killed in Chihuahua, according to data from the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System. This is a constant, given that in the same period of 2021, there were 1026 intentional homicides; in 2020 the figure was 1140 people killed in this state. 
The government of Chihuahua also reported that prior to the events in the church, four people were kidnapped in Cerocahui. At press time, it was not reported that they were rescued or released. 
Priests in the Sierra Tarahumara
Residents of Cerocahui and the Jesuit community have recounted the horror, fear and messages of indignation. There are also testimonies of the work carried out by the priests in the Tarahumara region, where they arrived since the 60s, according to several of their relatives. 
“There is so little I can tell you for the immensity of Father Gallo’s dedication, as he liked to be called in the Sierra (the community gave him the nickname). He was working almost all his years as a priest in the Sierra Tarahumara. Making claws to get seeds, medicines, food and teaching everything he knew to all the Rarámuris,” said Rocío, who met him in the Sierra de Chihuahua 14 years ago.
“Father Mora was also passionate about working in the mountains. Previously, he was working in a troubled area in Tamaulipas. They were already used to threats and scares. At many years of age, they still had that courage that very few possess. Doing what others do not want, nor can, nor dare, nor have the ability to carry out. Men, in addition to their priceless priestly insignia, at the service of humanity who make, are and are. They sacrifice themselves for that ‘love and serve’, which they proclaim and live, in all the extension and literality of the word,” Rocío said. 
The Society of Jesus in Mexico reported in a press release that the priests were about 80 years old. Friends of theirs reported that they had been in the priesthood for about five decades. 
Dr. Fructuoso Irigoyen, a friend of the priest Gallo, said that these priests moved through several areas of the Sierra Tarahumara, and even 
“Father Javier Campos was a good friend of mine. When I worked in Norogachi, he was the priest of Guachochi, and he remained so when I was in Samachique and in Guachochi itself. Rest in peace my dearest friend. Father Mora was a master in the Regional in the sixties, along with the brothers Moreno Villa and Cepeda. Rest in peace too.”
The Sierra TArahumara is made up of 23 municipalities, most of which have poverty levels ranging from 25% to 45%, according to data from the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (CONEVAL); and where no data are presented from Urique, where the murders of the priests occurred. 
The priest recalled that Gallo spoke the language of the Tarahumara, knew their houses and walked through the mountains. His friend, the priest Hernán Quezada, reported that just last week he had finished planning with the priest Javier Campos a trip through the mountains, south of Chihuahua.
The writer Martín Solares told the passage of the priest Morita through violent neighborhoods of Tamaulipas.
“Father Joaquin Mora explicitly asked to serve in such colonies or communities in each of the states in which he lived. When he passed through Tamaulipas he chose the Pescadores colony to give masses and serve the community. Obligatorily he took us one by one to verify the conditions in which people lived in one of the most abandoned regions of the state. Then, he asked us to donate clothes, books, school supplies, food but above all time to listen to them and accompany them. If any of us joked with the taciturn mood of the father, from those visits Joaquín Mora earned the lifelong respect of anyone, as happened to his students, “Solares published in his social networks.

Father Joaquín Mora explicitly asked to serve in such colonies or communities in each of the states in which he lived in Tamaulipas or Chihuahua. That is why he earned the lifelong respect of anyone, as happened to his students.
— Martin Solares (@martinsolares) June 21, 2022

The Tamaulipas writer added: “People like parents Joaquín Mora or Javier Campos do not abound in this country. It will be very difficult to find two people like them, willing to give their lives for a stranger who came to ask for help, chased by an armed subject.”
The guide Pedro Eliodoro
Ricardo Palma denounced on Twitter that his father, Pedro, who is a tour guide, was kidnapped along with tourists from a hotel in the area, but until Tuesday night, he clarified to the media, that federal authorities have not confirmed if his father was killed.
Pedro is a tour guide with nearly four decades of experience. Ricardo said his father had his own tourism services company, although he sometimes collaborates with foreign agencies.  

Today I am warned that after murdering the two priests in the town of Cerocahui, Chihuahua, armed men broke into the Hotel Misión Cerocahui of Balderrama Hotels and took tourists including MY DAD
— Ricardo Palma (@Ricardo_PalmaC) June 21, 2022

Ricardo reported that he is traveling from Europe to Mexico, as he was in Spain doing his specialization, when he was informed about the kidnapping of his father. 
Different Jesuit parishes have held Masses where the faithful have been asked to pray for the victims of this episode.
This June 22, a Eucharist will be held in memory of the priests, at 7:00 p.m., in the parish of San Judas Tadeo, in Torreón, Coahuila. There will also be a live broadcast on the social networks of this church. 
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Original source in Spanish

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