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Priest Killed in Mexico; 9th Slain in Country in Past 4 Years

A Roman Catholic priest has been killed in the western Mexican state of Michoacan, the ninth slain in the country in the past four years.

The church’s Catholic Multimedia Center identified the priest as Rev. Javier García Villafaña, who had been assigned to the Capacho parish in Huandacareo just one month earlier.

The Michoacan state prosecutor’s office said that García’s body had several gunshot wounds and was found inside a vehicle.

The killing came one day after the Mexican Episcopal Conference expressed its solidarity and condemnation of an attack against Monsignor Faustino Armendáriz Jiménez, archbishop of the northern state of Durango.

On Sunday, an elderly man tried to stab Armendáriz in Durango’s cathedral. The archbishop escaped uninjured.

The conference said in a statement that it condemned García’s killing and called on authorities to find those responsible.

“It is a painful reminder of the serious situation we face as a society, in which the presence of organized crime and impunity continue threatening the lives and safety of so many,” the statement said.

The Catholic Multimedia Center said in the statement that García was shot while driving near Capacho on the shores of Cuitzeo lake.

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