The drug trafficking harassment of members of the Catholic Church in Jalisco escalated on July 22, when members of organized crime broke into the middle of mass to threaten the priest José Luis Segura Barragán .
The religious ceremony was held in the chapel of Zipoco, a community belonging to the municipality of Santa María del Oro.
According to the priest, around nine armed men interrupted the mass he was officiating to make threats against him.
After the events, the clergyman notified the Diocese to which he belongs and then sent a letter to the Attorney General of the Republic, Alejandro Gertz Manero, as well as to the Jalisco prosecutor, Luis Joaquín Méndez Ruiz.
In the letter he explained that, although they are accustomed to receiving threats, the assassins had never dared so much when interrupting a mass , and explained that it is common for the inhabitants to see armed men in the streets.
He added that he reflected on his behavior and should have expelled the subjects for introducing weapons into the house of God, however, he did not want to interrupt the mass, since it was special, consecrated to the memory of the priests and other people who have been victims of the crime.
Likewise, he indicated that after concluding the religious ceremony, he and a companion received a series of insults and threats from a man who headed the armed group, who warned that they are drug traffickers from Colombia who are now the “owners of the square” .
In interviews for several media outlets, the priest Segura Barragán explained that he has been in the region for 15 years and witnessed the birth of the self-defense groups.
He also said that during these years organized crime has used churches as barricades, and that sometimes they even smuggled drugs into them. He also charged that both police and other authorities are in collusion with drug trafficking .
It should be noted that during his tenure as a priest, Segura Barragán has been a severe critic of organized crime and self-defense groups. In addition, he played a crucial role so that Franco Coppola, former Apostolic Nuncio in Mexico, visited the municipality of Aguililla in April 2021, an area disputed between the Jalisco Nueva Generació n Cartel (CJNG) and Cárteles Unidos .