Mexican Priest Alive, but With 'Notable Signs of Torture'

Rev. Jose Luis Sanchez Ruiz had been abducted 3 days earlier
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2016 11:03 AM CST
'Notable Signs of Torture:' Mexican Priest Found Alive
A portrait of the former governor of Veracruz is seen in the middle of debris after the Municipal Palace in Catemaco, Veracruz, was set on fire on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)

Since September, four Roman Catholic priests in Mexico have been abducted—and only one has come back alive. That priest, the Rev. Jose Luis Sanchez Ruiz, was found "dumped, with notable signs of torture" three days after he disappeared from the state of Veracruz, a bishop tells the AP; where he was found hasn't been revealed. Although prosecutors speculated robbery may have been a motive in the killings of the other three priests, a rep from Sanchez Ruiz's diocese has a different theory on his abduction. "He had received threats in recent days because he is a defender of human rights," the spokesman says, per the BBC. "He has criticized the system of corruption and the crime problem in Catemaco."

The AP notes the priest also took part in recent demonstrations against the town's steep electric bills. His kidnapping caused two days of unrest and chaos in Catemaco. The other two priests who were recently kidnapped in Veracruz were found shot dead on the roadside a few days after their abduction; another priest in Michoacan state was also killed, in September. Per the country's Catholic Media Center, 28 priests (not counting the most recent slayings) have been killed in Mexico since 2006, notes the Catholic Herald. (A judge who oversaw Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's appeal was shot dead last month.)

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