Mexico Detains Suspects For "Massacre" Of Evangelicals

Thursday, September 11, 2008

By BosNewsLife News Center

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO (BosNewsLife) -- Mexican authorities have detained a group of men for their alleged involvement in killing three native Indian Christians and seriously injuring six children of the same evangelical family in the country's Chiapas state, BosNewsLife established Wednesday, September 10.

Eight men have been held in a prison in San Cristobal de las Casas for their apparent involvement in the murders on August 23 in Chiapas' Chalchihuitan municipality, Mexican officials said.

Among the suspects is a neighbor of the evangelical family who was upset about their "many prayers" which he described as "witchcraft," prosecutors said. The man, identified by Mexican media as Antonio Gomez, blamed the prayers for the stomach ailment of his 11-year old daughter, according to prosecutors.

The Public Prosecutor of Indigenous Justice, Mariano Lopez Perez, told reporters that Gomez and seven friends attempted to end the prayers forever by attacking the family August 23, killing the parents and their eldest son – and injuring six children with machetes.


The attackers first burst into the hut of the family to kill the eldest son, Rene, 32, and then allegedly slashed the mother, Marcela Hernandez Giron Gomez, and the father, Pedro Gomez Diaz, who were both in their 50s.

Children Esteban, 4, Ernesto, 6, Anita, 7, Maria, 14, Petrona, 16 and Martin,18, were apparently seriously injured and required medical attention. The 16-year-old Petrona remains in critical condition at a local hospital, news reports said.

The murders, described as "a massacre" by Mexican media, have underscored the difficulties faced by evangelical Christians in several parts of Chiapas, BosNewsLife monitored.

There have been several attacks reported on Protestant communities in the region. In addition dozens of evangelical Christians, were charged with involvement in killing 45 Tzotzil Indians in the Chiapas village of Acteal in 1997, despite international concerns over the fairness of the trial.

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