Archbishop calls for peace in Mexico’s drugs war

by Katy Docherty

A Mexican Archbishop today called for a cease to country’s bloody battle against drug cartels. His plea comes at the funeral of the latest 18 victims to be caught up in gang violence.

Mexican families mourn their dead in Morelia Cathedral. Source: El Universal
The bodies of the 18 were discovered in a mass grave outside the holiday resort of Acapulco. The funeral took place today in the city of Morelia.

The Archbishop of Morelia told mourners that  he hoped these deaths “may act as a seed to produce a different Mexico – a brotherly, fair and just one.”

The motive for the deaths is not clear. The victims were a group of mechanics who alledgedly saved up to go on holiday together. They disappeared on 30th September, shortly after leaving their home town of Morelia.

The Mayor of Morelia called upon citizens to rally together in the face of tragedy, adding “crime will not break our spirits”.

Police discovered the mass grave after two unidentified men declared in an online video they had been ordered to kill and bury the tourists. The bodies of the two men were found alongside the murdered holiday-makers.

It is believed that the infamous drugs cartel La Familia is responsible for the deaths. In 2006 the gang declared “only those who deserve to die will die” but recently more and more innocent civilians have dragged into the violence that affects the whole country.

Thirteen teenagers were killed last month in a random attack. The massacre took place at a birthday party in the border city of Ciudad Juarez.

The total number of drug crime related deaths for October was around 1,000, according to Mexican television channel El Milenio. Over 28,000 Mexicans have died since President Felipe Calderon declared war against the drugs cartels in 2006.