Priest killed in Jalisco, threats force concert to cancel

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A priest in western Mexico has been shot to death, the eighth killed under the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

The church’s Catholic Multimedia Center identified the priest as Rev. Juan Angulo Fonseca. The center said Sunday that eight priests, including Angulo Fonseca, have been murdered during the current administration, which took office in December 2018.

Prosecutors in the western state of Jalisco said the 53-year-old parish priest was killed by two shotgun blasts in the town of Atotonilco El Alto on Friday.

Prosecutors said a relative fired the shots that killed the priest, and said the motive was “presumably family disputes.” The suspect fled on a motorcycle after the killing.

“The causes, as always, are unknown,” the church center said in a statement. “Some hypotheses point to conflicts over land titles. But the parishioners of Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Guadalupe Valley were indignant over the killing of a priest who they respected for his pastoral work.”

The church’s Catholic Multimedia Center said at least two dozen priests were killed under former president Enrique Peña Nieto, who served from 2012 to 2018.

Meanwhile, in the northern Mexico border city of Tijuana violent threats forced the cancellation of a planned concert by the norteño band Grupo Arriesgado.

The band is from Sinaloa and is known for singing “narco corridos” or “war corridos” about drug traffickers.

In a statement, the band wrote “due to the events of the last few days and in accordance with the wishes of the authorities, a decision has been made to cancel the show,” which was to be held Saturday night.

The band did not specifically refer to violence or threats, but wrote “at Grupo Arriesgado and GA Music, the safety of our fans is our first priority.”

A hand-lettered sign hung on an overpass prior to the concert warned the band’s lead singer that he was not welcome in Tijuana. The message was signed “CJNG,” the initials of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, which has been disputing turf with the Sinaloa cartel.

And local media posted video of an autograph session held by members of the group at a shopping center prior to the concert, in which gunshots can be heard.

According to the band’s web site, it is scheduled to play concerts in Arizona and California in March.

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