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Mission Testimony: Story of Father Omar Sotelo Aguilar, Priest And Journalist Of Denunciation In Mexico

Father Omar Sotelo Aguilar has for years been in the crosshairs of narcos (and not just drug lords) in the most dangerous country in the world, Mexico

A journalist priest against narcos in Mexico, Father Omar Sotelo Aguilar

The Pauline priest Omar Sotelo Aguilar , President of the Catholic Multimedia Centre (CCM), has for decades been a symbol, despite himself, of how the witness of the Word can (or should) be combined with the need to denounce harassment, violence and social injustice.

He is in the crosshairs of the narcos as a priest and as a journalist.

In Mexico, to be precise, 14 journalists were murdered in 2022.

And in this country, priests are threatened, beaten, killed.

The reason is simple, according to Father Omar: if I can kill a priest, I can kill anyone

An action, therefore, entirely functional to the culture of silence and omertà.

But it is a country, Mexico, in which the parish also acts as a social stabiliser, a place where people can find an alternative to the dictatorship of the drug lords.

And this greatly increases the danger that the priesthood represents in the eyes of organised crime.

We talked about social inequalities.

It is the pivot around which practically everything revolves: ‘organised crime,’ Father Omar told Aleteia, ‘has two very strong pillars: unlimited material resources and unlimited human resources.

It feeds on many young people who do not have a job, to make a family, to train, to grow professionally.

Peace begins within the family . Give the family the necessary resources so that each of its members has what it takes to integrate into the community.

When the family breaks up through migration, through economic necessity, organised crime takes advantage and recruits young people to join its criminal gangs,

How to design a dialogue table for peace? First with the families, to solve their needs.

Then, we have to make young people aware of the path they can take.

If we do preventive work we can build peace.

This has been lacking in the history of Mexico: we have let it grow, we have left young people at the mercy of drug lords and turned them into the unlimited human resource of criminals’.

To learn more about the work of Father Omar Sotelo Aguilar, visit the website of the CCM, Multimedia Catholic Centre.

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