MEXICO CITY (CNS) — Members of a Catholic youth group were shot at and robbed as they transported earthquake relief to southern Mexico, leaving two volunteers hospitalized. Another volunteer was sexually assaulted.
The youths belonged to the Catholic foundation Papa Francisco Pro Felicitas A.C.
The attack occurred Sept. 26, said a statement from the Archdiocese of Mexico City. Assailants took supplies, the youths’ cellphones and approximately $2,300 collected to purchase items to donate in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region.
“We are very sad. We have cried at the impotence of the situation, as much for the young people as the girl who was raped,” said the statement. “We hope that both (of the injured) survive. We are still awaiting a medical report on these brave young people.”
The foundation director, Carlos Arvizu, told the archdiocesan publication Desde la Fe one volunteer was shot in the neck, while the other was badly beaten.
“Neither the federal government nor the locals helped with emergency duties and didn’t provided security,” Arvizu said. “This is showing that after the earthquake … it’s total anarchy.”
The Sept. 7 quake struck southern Mexico, leaving almost 100 dead and many more homeless in Oaxaca and Chiapas states. The Sept. 19 quake struck closer to Mexico City and claimed at least 337 lives. The federal government reports the disasters damaged more than 150,000 homes, while church officials in dioceses close to the capital report massive damage to churches.
Mexicans have responded to the earthquakes with an enormous outpouring of generosity and solidarity, including the church, through Caritas, the church’s charitable agency.
Many centers collecting donations for earthquake relief have had to turn away volunteers because so many people were willing to help. Some centers in Mexico City started sending donations such as food, water, medicine and blankets to other hard-hits states.
Young people — including church youth groups — have been especially eager to assist. Seminarians in Cuernavaca formed brigades to remove rubble and turned their seminary into a massive collection center.
“Youth have responded in an extraordinary way,” said Bishop Ramon Castro Castro of Cuernavaca. “All the seminarians are heading out into small towns,” where damage was substantial.
The Archdiocese of Mexico announced it would hold a special collection for earthquake relief and reconstruction Oct. 1.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103