By James Blears reporting from Mexico
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO (BosNewsLife)-- The Catholic Church in Mexico on Saturday, December 27, condemned the murder of a priest, who was abducted by armed men after he criticized organized crime in a sermon.
Gregorio López Gorrostieta dedicated what was to be his final sermon last Sunday, December 21, to dozens of missing students .
The 43 students of a teachers college in rural Ayotzinapa disappeared after they were reportedly handed over to gangsters by local police following a protest rally on September 16 in the southern city of Iguala.
Priest Gregorio López Gorrostieta, from Altamirano city in Guerrero state, condemned the mass kidnappings.
His sermon was also aimed at organized crime in a nation where at least 80,000 people are believed to have died since then president Felipe Calderon kicked off a crackdown on drugs lords in December 2006.
Following his critical remarks, witnesses said the priest was forced into a truck by armed men. His body was found near that city on Monday, December 22. He'd been strangled and shot, according to investigators.
This is the third priest to be murdered in Guerrero state in 2014 alone. The remains of an Ugandan priest were found in a mass grave last month.
Most students, all teachers trainees, remain missing. So far only one set of remains have
been identified. The mayor and scores of municipal police have been detained over the abductions.