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Guatemala: kidnapped Franciscan priest murdered

Guatemalan Franciscan priest Fr Miguel Angel Hernandez, who had been assigned to a parish in Ocotepeque, Honduras) and who had disappeared last weekend, was found dead yesterday,  in a province of eastern Guatemala.

Honduran police sources reported that Father Hernandez was in fact kidnapped last weekend while going from Ocotepeque towards the eastern city of Chiquimula in Guatemala.

The body of the 45-year-old priest was found inside a hotel in the town of Esquipulas, about 222 kilometres east of the capital, and had suffered several stab wounds. It was subsequently transferred to the National Institute of Forensic Sciences of Chiquimula for an autopsy.

The priest for four years worked as parish pastor in Ocotepeque, Honduras. Speaking on local radio,  his brother,  Fr Juan Pablo Lobos urged the authorities  to investigate the murder.

Latin America has seen a recent increase in violence towards missionaries and religious. Yesterday, there was news of another priest who had been brutally murdered in Brazil, the fourth in five months.

Source: Fides