An outspoken priest who had been reported missing in the state of Veracruz was found alive, but with signs of torture.
Fr Jose Luis Sanchez Ruiz, parish priest of Twelve Apostles parish in Catemaco – a town known for witchcraft, some 340 miles southeast of Mexico City – was reported missing on 11th November, sparking unrest and the ransacking and burning of the city hall by residents impatient with the police response.
A statement from the Diocese of San Andres Tuxtla said Fr Sanchez was found ‘abandoned’ on 13th November ‘with notable signs of torture’.
Fr Aaron Reyes Natividad, diocesan spokesman, told local media that Fr Sanchez had received threats via WhatsApp and Facebook, while the doors to the church also appear to have been opened with force. He denounced crime and corruption in Veracruz – where a former governor is currently on the lam for funneling millions of dollars of state money into shell companies – and also rallied residents against high electric bills.
“He was nervous, but nothing stopped him,” Fr Reyes told Veracruz news organization blog.expediente.mx.
Picture: Police officers guard the municipal building in Catemaco, Mexico, on 14th November after it was set on fire following the disappearance of Fr Jose Luis Sanchez Ruiz, parish priest of Twelve Apostles parish. The outspoken priest, who had been reported missing in the state of Veracruz, was found alive, but with signs of torture. (CNS photo/Oscar Martinez, Reuters).