MYSTERY surrounds the discovery of two bodies, one of them belonging to a Catholic priest, along the US-Mexico border.
José Guadalupe Rivas Saldaña, 57, served at the San Judas Tadeo church in Tecate, Baja California for over 20 years before his mysterious death on May 17.
The priest ran Casa del Migrante, a migrant shelter in Tecate, which is located south of the Mexican border, 40 miles southeast of downtown San Diego.
He was reported missing after being last seen on May 15. His disappearance prompted the local state attorney general to begin an investigation.
The probe turned into a double murder investigation when authorities found Rivas Saldaña dead of head injuries on the outskirts of Tecate, according to Nexstar Media Group’s Border Report.
There were signs that the priest had been tortured, the news outlet reported, citing Infovaticana, a news agency based at the Vatican in Rome.
The second man’s body was beaten beyond recognition, the Catholic News Agency reported.
No further details about the second victim or his identity have been released.
Rivas Saldaña was the fourth of 10 siblings.
He was ordained on October 29, 1994, by Bishop Luis Morales Reyes of Torreón, according to the Catholic News Agency.
The leader of the Archdiocese of Tijuana, Archbishop Francisco Moreno Barrón, honored Rivas Saldaña during a church service following news of his passing.
Moreno Barrón said that the priest had “returned to the Father’s house.”
He later demanded, while speaking with members of the media, that the Baja California Attorney General’s Office find whoever is responsible for the murder.
“Let us pray to our Heavenly Father to have mercy on him, and that he may soon enjoy the Heavenly Homeland. Give him, Lord, eternal rest and may perpetual light shine upon him. Rest in peace,” Moreno Barrón said.
So far, no suspects have been identified in either man’s death.
A documentary produced by Vatican News found that at least 47 pastoral workers with the Catholic Church have been killed in Mexico since 2005.
The country is listed as one of the most dangerous in the world for clergy.
The body of another priest in the Tijuana archdiocese was found in October 2018. Father Ímar Arturo Orta was found in an abandoned car with multiple bullet wounds.
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