Despite the uncertainty and fear caused by the violence in the area, the Tarahumara Indigenous community of Santa Anita, Mexico, began repairing their village church, which was seriously damaged by hundreds of bullet holes earlier this summer during a confrontation between criminal gangs.
The fighting between organized crime members in June caused serious damage both outside and inside the church as well as to the images of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and St. Ann. Outside the church, authorities found the body of a decapitated man.
Santa Anita is located about 30 miles from the city of Guachochi, where the Diocese of Tarahumara is headquartered.
It is in the Diocese of Tarahumara where the Jesuit priests Javier Campos and Joaquín Mora were murdered inside a church on June 20, 2022.
The Sierra Tarahumara is a mountainous region in the country’s north where organized crime abounds due to the vast geographical diversity that permits logging, illegal mining, and poppy cultivation.
Father Enrique Urzúa Romero, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral in Guachochi, said on Facebook that “despite the uncertainty and fear,” the community “wants to reclaim their lives” and so the parishioners have begun to repair the walls and replace the affected religious images using their own resources.
By Diego López Colín