Mexican Bishop Calls for Probe Into Suspected Murder of Immigrants

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Bishop José Torres, the Mexican Catholic Church’s spokesman for migration, has called on the Mexican government to conduct an exhaustive investigation into the recent discovery of 19 burned bodies in Northern Mexico.

In a letter addressed to President Andres Manuel López Obrador and other officials, Torres writes that the government should guarantee the rights of migrants in Mexican territory and establish humane policies. “In the name of the highest values of humanity, we ask the federal government for an exhaustive investigation,” wrote Torres.

“One of the contributing factors to this type of tragedy is the implementation of repressive immigration policies and persecution of migrants who only seek better living conditions for themselves and their families,” he added.

This past weekend (Jan. 23- Jan. 24), Mexican officials recovered the bodies in the border state of Tamaulipas, a major migration route and site of cartel conflict. The victims are believed to have been Guatemalan migrants, heading to the United States, fleeing violence and poverty to try to give their families a better life. The journey is notoriously dangerous, but often, a better option than succumbing to the death and violence in their home countries.

Authorities have not yet identified the victims, and some Guatemalans have submitted DNA of suspected family members that may have been fleeing to the U.S.

“It is a priority that the federal government establishes fair, safe and orderly immigration policies.”