Mexican authorities investigate murder of two Jesuit priests

A third person took refuge in a church in the village of Serokahui before all three were killed around 6:00 pm local time (8:00 pm ET), according to a statement from the Chihuahua state government.

In a statement, the Society of Jesus, a religious order also known as the Jesuits, condemned the murder of two priests.

He also asked the Mexican authorities to return their bodies, which, according to the statement, were removed from the church by “armed persons”.

In a separate statement, the organization identified the priests as Javier Campos Morales, 79, and Joaquín Cesar Mora Salazar, 80.

The society has also asked for increased protection for the people of Serocawy and the wider Sierra Tarahumara region.

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Violent attacks are a problem in a region that the Society has described as underprotected.

Following the killings, the Mexican National Guard and the Mexican Ministry of Defense launched a security operation in the area, authorities said.

During a Tuesday morning press conference, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador also said the authorities were “looking into the situation.”

“This is an area with a strong presence of organized crime,” he said. “It appears that there is already some information about who may be responsible for these crimes.”