The white walls of a Catholic temple in Mexico were completely pierced. There was practically not much space left between one bullet impact and the next. It is alleged that more than 700 shots were fired at the compound.

Impressive are the images circulating on social networks. One hundred or more than 100 bullets hit a wall near the altar.

What happened against the Church of the Community of Santa Anita, in the municipality of Guachochi, Chihuahua, and a few houses, on Monday, June 5, 2023, is of great concern.

In addition to the explosions and their consequences, a person was found decapitated and they found a burnt-out truck.

“There is fear in the city,” summarizes Father Javier Ávila, a Jesuit.

It seems strange to me that all the aggression was aimed at the temple… an impressive number of hits inside and outside the premises

Javier Avila, Jesuit priest

He tells Milenio that they have been told everything is due to an alleged confrontation between armed gangs. But the priest asks: “If it was a confrontation, and it was in the temple, because there is no trace of blood.”

“It’s been a while since all the aggression, so many bullets were aimed at the temple,” he says.

At the same time, it regrets that these attacks or events take place “against respectable places for all people, such as the church”.

What is behind the relentless wave of violence in Mexico?

So many bullets, a message to the church?

The attacked church is in the Sierra Tarahumara, where the inhabitants are in need.

According to El Universal, “more than 700 cartridge cases of various calibers have been seized. At least 422 “cuerno de chivo” and R-15 shell casings were found, in addition to a fragmentation grenade, among other evidence of the recorded shooting.

“Whether it is a message to the Church or not, it does not worry us, it does not frighten us, because all of this increases our commitment to building peace. We will continue to work tirelessly for peace,” he replied firmly.

All of us, as a church, reaffirm our commitment to peace and to continue to support the people

Father Avila to Millennium

One year after the murder of two priests and two laymen

It will soon be one year since another attack on church workers in Chihuahua.

Two Jesuit priests and a tourist guide were murdered at their temple in the indigenous community of Cerocahui, in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, and the attackers took the bodies, the Society of Jesus reported, reported El Universo on Sept. 21, 2022.

Concerning what happened on that occasion, Father Ávila criticizes: “Things don’t change much in the Sierra Tarahumara.”

Not even, he says, “they were able to arrest the perpetrator of the deaths of those two priests and two laymen.”

The criminals, the Jesuit priest accuses, spend their time walking free and committing their misdeeds.

“Hopefully what happened this week will be fully investigated,” he wished at the time of ratification: “This does not change our position. We will remain in solidarity with the pain of the people, we will accompany them.”