The archbishop revealed that it is not the first time that it has happened to him and said that he does not fear these individuals, but acts with caution instead.
The Cardinal of Guadalajara, José Francisco Robles Ortega, denounced having been detained last week by two organized crime checkpoints when he was driving through the northern area of Jalisco.
In addition, he assured that in order to obtain the authorization of the man in charge and to be able to carry out the celebrations of the patron saint festivities. Robles Ortega stated that the members of organized crime groups demanded he to hand out 50 percent of the resources collected during the religious festivities.
This is the second case in a week in which representatives of the Catholic Church are intercepted by alleged drug traffickers, as on Thursday, June 24th, the bishop of Zacatecas, Sigifredo Noriega Barceló, reported having been intercepted on his way through Huejuquilla El Alto, in Jalisco territory.
“We shouldn’t get used to it, but it’s the daily bread. I went to the north of the state, precisely on the border with Zacatecas, and I was also stopped at two different checkpoints, that obviously belong to organized crime groups. As they stop you, they ask where are you going, where are you coming from, what you do for a living, and people are getting used to these things as if it was the most normal and natural thing in the world,” said the Archbishop.
“This is now an ordinary thing in Jalisco, to go through checkpoints with civilians wearing masks and carrying long weapons, and you can run into two or even three checkpoints on the same route,” the Cardinal said.
He explained that the checkpoints are located in the municipalities of Totatiche and Villa Guerrero, Jalisco, and in order to get to those two communities, motorists have to drive through these checkpoints.
He lamented the climate of violence that prevails in Jalisco and in most of Mexico and commented that the insecurity experienced by the population is also suffered by priests as they are citizens who do not ask for privileges to travel.
“They do the same to anyone who passes by. But why, with what authority do members of an organized crime group obstruct the public road, arrest people, and interrogate citizens? Why is this happening? What are the Federal authorities doing about it?” questioned Robles Ortega.