CATEMACO, Mexico, Nov. 14 (UPI) — Church officials said Mexican priest, the Rev. Jose Luis Sanchez Ruiz, was found alive and showing signs of torture after he went missing for three days.
Sanchez Ruiz, from the town of Catemaco, is the third Roman Catholic priest who has been abducted in the Mexican state of Veracruz since September. Both other priests were found shot dead by a road.
Catemaco residents criticized police for carrying out a lackluster response to Sanchez Ruiz’s disappearance. Church officials said Sanchez Ruiz was targeted because he fought against corruption.
“He had received threats in recent days because he is a defender of human rights,” church official Aaron Reyes told Blog Expediente Noticias de Veracruz. “He has criticized the system of corruption and the crime problem in Catemaco.”
Reyes said Sanchez Ruiz would deliver sermons in which he would reveal the names of “those responsible for insecurity, stealing from the community and generating poverty.”
“He was nervous, but nothing stopped him,” Reyes said of Sanchez Ruiz.
Sanchez Ruiz “had been dumped, with notable signs of torture” at an undisclosed location on Sunday, Bishop Fidencio Lopez said.