At least 37 Catholic missionaries were killed around the world during 2009 – nearly double the number reported in 2008 - Fides reports.
Thirty priests, two religious sisters, two seminarians, and two lay volunteers are know to have lost their lives. The continent with the highest number were the Americas, with 23 pastoral workers killed (18 priests, two seminarians, one sister, and two lay persons), followed by Africa, where nine priests, one religious, and one laymen lost their lives. In Asia, two priests were killed, and in Europe, one priest was killed.
The names in chronological order are:
Fr Joseph Bertaina, Italian, of the Consolata Missionaries, was killed on the morning of 16 January, in his office in Langata, at the Institute of Philosophy of the Consolata Missionaries in Nairobi, Kenya. Fr Bertaina was rector and director of the Institute. Several persons entered secretly in the institute during the hours of instruction, while students and teachers were in their classrooms. Fr Joseph was beaten, bound and gagged, and died of respiratory failure. Fr Bertaina was ordained priest in 1951, and had been in Kenya from the 1960s except for a period in South Africa, where he had gone to study.
The lifeless body of Spanish priest Fr Eduardo de la Fuente Serrano, 61, was found the morning of 14 February, in an area northwest of Havana (Cuba). According to investigations, the priest died following a stabbing, on a street on the outskirts of the capital. His car was found in the town of Bauta, about 20 kilometres from the place where his body was abandoned. The priest, was a native of Guadalix de la Sierra, near Madrid (Spain), and had worked for three years in Cuba as a parish priest in the Church of St Clare of Assisi, where he was engaged in humanitarian work. The testimonies of those who knew him reveal his attention to everyone: children, the elderly, and especially teenagers and young adults, whom he had brought together in a lively and committed parish group. Through an intensive and practical pastoral work, he had managed to restore life to a community affected by the lack of a permanent priest for some years. Fr Eduardo, who carried out pastoral ministry in Madrid at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in the district of Carabanchel, had begun working in Havana a decade ago, where every year in July he went to replace a priest.
Fr Juan Gonzalo Aristizabal Isaza, 62, a Colombian priest, was killed on February 22. His body was found inside his car, abandoned on the regional highway, near the University of Antioch. The priest was pastor of the parish of "St John the Apostle" and chaplain of the Intercontinental Hotel in Medellin (Colombia). He was also distinguished by his spirit of charity towards the needy, his pastoral dedication, intelligence, and giving to others. Born in Medellin in 1946, Fr Juan was ordained a priest on June 10, 1973. Earning a degree in Education, he also earned the title of psychologist and teacher in psychological orientation. After his ordination he held various pastoral assignments in parishes and in different schools as chaplain. He was also Dean of the School in Ozhanam and Chaplain of the Government of Antioch (1993-1996). Since February 2, 2006, he had served as pastor of St John the Apostle.
Fr Daniel Matsela Mahula, of the Diocese of Klerksdorp (South Africa), was killed while driving his car, by four highway bandits near Bloemhof, February 27, 2009. Born June 6, 1975 he was ordained a priest on 22 December 2002. He ministered at St Peter's Catholic Church in Jouberton.
Fr Lionel Sham, 66, pastor in Mohlakeng (Archdiocese of Johannesburg, South Africa), was killed March 7, after being abducted from his home in Mohlakeng. His body was recovered by police on Sunday, March 8, just hours after the disappearance of the priest from his parish. Fr. Lionel Sham was known to be open to all and generous with all those in need.
Fr Révocat Gahimbare, pastor of the parish of Karuzi, Burundi, was shot on 8 March by four bandits dressed as policemen, who had robbed the monastery of the “Bene Maria” Sisters. Having learned of the assault, Fr. Gahimbare rushed to the rescue of the religious, but was ambushed along the road by bandits.
Two Redemptorist priests, Fr Gabriel Fernando Montoya Tamayo, 40 and Fr Jesús Ariel Jiménez, 45, were killed on the night of March 16 in the municipality of La Primavera (Vichada) in Colombia. The tragic events occurred in the area of Easter, the jurisdiction of the municipality of La Primavera, in the Department of Vichada, over 500 kilometres from Bogota and the border with Venezuela. The double crime was committed by a man on the evening of March 16, who raided the priests' rooms at the “Colegio de La Pascua,” probably in search of money, killing them both with a firearm while they were using the Internet. Fr Gabriel was seven years Director of the College and was about to pass the assignment to Fr Jesús Ariel Jiménez, who had recently arrived as the new director.
Spanish priest Fr Ramiro Luden, 64, was killed on March 20, in Recife, northeast Brazil, where he worked for 34 years in an association for street children. According to information from the police, Fr Luden was killed by a gunshot while he was leaving with his vehicle from a parking lot. The shot reached his arm and penetrated his chest. Brazilian police arrested a young man of 15 years who has confessed to the crime and has also found the weapon used, a rifle. The teenager said he wanted to rob the priest while he was in his car, and fired a weapon because he thought the priest was looking for a weapon to try and defend himself. The Spanish priest, a native of Toledo, had been residing in Brazil for 34 years and worked with the Movement of Support for Meninos de Rua (Mamer), for teenagers in Jaboatao dos Guararapes, in the metropolitan area of Recife. According to friends of the religious, Fr. Luden was very affectionate and appreciated by all, and had never received threats. They describe him as a quiet man, but "energetic and determined" when defending NGOs. He was "a priest with a great social awareness, trying to rescue children and adolescents from poverty and the temptation to enter into a life of crime."
American priest, Fr Lorenzo Rosebaugh, 74, of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI), was killed in Guatemala on May 18, following an assault that took place in the National Park Laguna Lachuá in Alta Verapaz, a rural community north of Guatemala, along a country road that joins the community of Chisec with Ixcan. Two men armed with rifles and with their faces covered they stopped a car driven by Fr Rosebaugh, who was traveling with four other priests, all of them Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI), on their way to Laguna Lachuá for a meeting. After taking their belongings, the criminals opened fire on the religious, killing Fr Rosebaugh and seriously injuring Fr Jean Claude Nowama, of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, while the others were left unharmed by the attack. The priests had money stolen from them, along with a cell phone, and liturgical objects. Fr Rosebaugh had been in Guatemala since 1993. He had been pastor at a parish in Chicaman, in the mountains populated by the Maya, and then in the community of Ixcan, a region in the northern part of the country that is known for its high concentration of crime, where he remained until 2000. After a visit home to attend to his mother, he returned to Guatemala in 2005, taking care of the sick, the poor, and prisoners.
Austrian Father Ernst Plöchl, 78, of the Congregation of the Missionaries of Mariannhill was killed in the Cape Province of South Africa. The body of the missionary, who had been in South Africa for over 40 years, was found the morning of Sunday, May 31, in the isolated mission station of Maria Zell. At first, the local authorities had said that the missionary was shot to death with firearms, but then they said he had been strangled. Fr Ploechl ran a school of 400 pupils in Matatiele, a town in the south. Fr Ploechl was born in Neumarkt im Mühlkreis in the district of Freistadt (Austria), where he had retained strong ties and was admired for his commitment to the poor.
Jorge Humberto Echeverri Garro, 40, professor and pastoral worker, on 11 June was in Colonos, Panama Arauca (Colombia), to attend a pastoral meeting of the Church in the area, focusing on community projects with Caritas Germany. During the meeting, a group of guerrillas invaded the city's centre and headed to the place of the meeting without giving any explanation, and shot the professor dead. According to the statement issued by Monsignor Héctor Fabio Henao Gaviria, director of the National Secretariat of Social/Pastoral, "Jorge Humberto, in addition to being recognized for his leadership, was also a catechist and member of the network of teachers as part of a Social/Pastoral proposal with the Instructional Centres for Peace, which is run in the same area, in agreement with the UNHCR.
Mexican priest Fr Habacuc Benítez Hernández, 39, and young seminarians Oregon Eduardo Benitez, 19, and Silvestre Gonzalez Cambron, 21, both of Ajuchitlán (Guerrero), were murdered on their way to a meeting for pastoral care of vocations, the evening of Saturday, June 13, in the municipality of Arcelia, in Tierra Caliente (Guerrero). The priest was to coordinate the promotion of vocations in the Diocese of Ciudad Altamirano (Mexico). According to police analysis, priests and seminarians must have been met by shots fired by individuals around seven o'clock on the afternoon of June 13, while traveling in a truck. As they traveling down one of the central streets of Arcelia, suddenly another vehicle reached them, they were forced to exit the truck and were hit with several rounds of gunfire. Archbishop Felipe Aguirre Franco of Acapulco noted that in that region there is a tendency to solve everything with a gun, the logic of settling of accounts with the shedding of blood. Also, "the armed forces have not solved the overall problem of drug trafficking and violence."
Fr Gisley Azevedo Gomes, CSS, 31, National Leader of the Youth Section of the Bishops' Conference of Brazil (CNBB), was killed on June 15, 2009. The priest's body was found the next day, June 16, near Brazlandia, satellite city of Brasilia, inside his car. He had suffered a shot to the face and two to the head. Police arrested several young people, guilty of the crime, who had gotten into his car, first robbing him and then killing him. Originally from Morrinhos, Fr Gisley had entered the Congregation of the Sacred Stigmata of Our Lord Jesus Christ and was ordained a priest on May 2005. He had been the leader of the National Youth Section of the CNBB for just two years. Very dedicated to working with young people, he joined the Youth Ministry of Brazil in organizing the National Campaign on the theme "Youth in the march against violence." "In a regrettable way - the bishops said – he was the victim of violence that wanted to fight against."
Fr Mariano Arroyo Merino, 74, from Spain, was found dead in his parish at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rule in Cuba, on July 13, 2009. The priest's body was found by firefighters at around 6.10am local time, after the watchman had seen the smoke coming from the parish. The attackers stabbed Fr Arroyo and then set him on fire. His body was handcuffed, gagged, and partially burned. The priest had served in Cuba during the last 12 years in the residential area of Havana, carrying out an intense pastoral work with a special charism. Mariano Arroyo was born February 20, 1935, in Cabezon de la Sal, Cantabria (Spain). He was ordained a priest on April 17, 1960. Shortly after, in 1962, he began working as a missionary in Santiago de Chile, where he remained until 1968. From 1969 to 1979 he worked again in Madrid (Spain) as pastor and trainer in the seminary. In 1980, he returned to Chile and had served in various parishes in the Diocese of Copiapo. In Havana, he had arrived on January 19, 1997. The following March, he was named pastor of Our Lady of Pilar, in Havana, and in December of 2004, Rector and Parish Priest of the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Rule. He was also advisor to the Movement of Christian Workers and Director of the "Father Félix Varela" Institute of Religious Sciences. Fr Arroyo belonged to the Hispanic-American Priest Cooperation Association.
Congolese Caritas worker Ricky Sukaka Agus, 27, was killed on the afternoon of July 15, in Musezero in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to a reconstruction of the murder, the youth, who had worked for a year as an agricultural engineer in a project of Secours Catholique-Caritas France, was approached by two men wearing army uniforms and returned home. His corpse was later found; his t-shirt of “Secours Catholique” that he had been wearing and his portfolio had been robbed. Caritas Internationalis has condemned "the brutal murder of a young man who worked bravely in a war zone to help others rebuild their lives."
Fr Mukalel James, 39, was found dead near Mangalore, (State of Karnataka) in southern India. His body was found in the countryside by some parishioners on July 30, 2009, after the young priest had failed to return to his parish in the Syro-Malabar diocese of Belthangady. On July 29, in his last hours before death, according to his usual pastoral duties, the priest had visited some families, dined in a monastery, and celebrated a funeral. The young priest was well-liked by all, was always smiling and a zealous pastoral worker. Among the hypotheses is the fact that it could have been a case of anti-Christian violence, as last year the area had seen some cases of attacks by fundamentalists.
The body of the Salvadoran Redemptorist Fr Leopoldo Cruz, of which there were no further news since mid-August, was found August 24, in a canal in a rural area of El Salvador. Since the body was already in an advanced state of decomposition, it is difficult to determine the exact cause and date of death. A young man found driving the car of Fr Cruz was arrested.
Fr Cecilio Lucero, Filipino, 48, was killed on September 6, by a group of armed men in the Northern Samar province, south of the capital, Manila (Philippines). According to local police, the priest was traveling in his car when he was stopped by over 30 people who opened fire, killing him instantly. Two other people were on board the vehicle with him and were seriously wounded. Fr. Lucero, pastor in the town of Catubig, was considered by all a defender of the weak and an activist for the protection of human rights. He was responsible for the Human Rights Commission of the Diocese of Catarman and had launched several initiatives and projects to protect the poor and denounce abuse of power. He also had relatives among the politicians of the province of Northern Samar: according to investigators, this fact could be linked to murder, in a kind of revenge or political crossfire. In the region of Northern Samar, there have been numerous assassinations of politicians, journalists, and social and pastoral workers who dare to raise their voices to defend human rights of the most vulnerable or accuse the powerful of corruption.
Fr Roger Ruvoletto, Italian Fidei Donum missionary, 52, was killed September 19, in his parish dedicated to the "Sagrado Corazon de Maria" in Barrio Santa Etelvina, a suburb of Manaus (Brazil). Around 7 o'clock in the morning (local time), the deacon of the parish, heard the shots, and came and found the lifeless body of Fr Roger, kneeling by the bed, his head bowed, struck in the head by a bullet. From evidence gathered at the place, it seems that only fifty Real (about nineteen euros) had been taken, leaving more money in the dwelling. Fr Roger Ruvoletto was born in Galt of Vigonovo March 23, 1957, in the Province of Venice, Diocese of Padua. He was ordained a priest in 1982. After studying ecclesiology in Rome, had returned to his diocese in August 1994, where he worked for about a year of pastoral and social work, and then was appointed Director of the Diocesan Mission Centre, a position he held from 1995 to 2003. On July 6, 2003 he left for Brazil, as a Fidei donum missionary for the Diocese of Itaguai in Mangaratiba. The following year he participated in a project of missionary presence in the outskirts of Manaus, requested by the local dioceses. It is a location along the border between the city and the forest where the crime is particularly aggressive. Fr Roger had recently participated in a demonstration to demand greater security.
Fr Evaldo Martiol, 33, of the Diocese of Cacador (Brazil), was killed in Santa Caterina on the evening of 26 September by two young men, age 21 and 15, respectively uncle and nephew. The priest was the victim of a robbery that ended in murder. After leaving a chapel and passing to visit another priest, Fr Evaldo gave a ride in his car to the two young men who killed him. The next day, police identified the criminals, who still had the priest's car, cell phone, and documents. The two confessed and indicated the place to find the body of the priest: five kilometres outside the urban area of Cacador, hit by four bullets. Fr Evaldo, a native of Great Timbo, was ordained priest on April 26, 2003. "His method was to evangelize through friendship," recalled the Diocesan Bishop Luiz Carlos Eccell, who celebrated his funeral in the Cathedral where the priest worked, which was filled with faithful moved and distraught because "Father Evaldo was a beloved son who was friends with everyone."
The body of Fr Danilo Oscar Cardozo, 57, was found in the parish rectory of St Louis Marie de Montfort to Villavicencio (Colombia), of which he was pastor from 2003, on the afternoon of Sunday, September 27. Some of the faithful, seeing that the priest did not arrive to celebrate evening Mass, went looking for him at the rectory and found his lifeless body. As reported by the police authorities, no signs of tampering or forcing were found, so most likely the assassins were known by the priest. They also found a gag and some ropes on the site. Father Danilo Oscar Cardozo was ordained on 10 June 1983. He was Vice-Rector of the Minor Seminary of St Pius X in Restrepo, assistant pastor of St Joseph the Worker, founder and pastor of Mary, Help of Christians Parish, chaplain of the Acacias Prison, pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in the district of Grasse, in San Jose Obrero, Nuevo Ricaute neighborhood, in St Louis Marie de Montfort (since 2003), and Archbishop's Delegate for the radio and the newspaper "Echo Llanera.”
William Quijano, 21, of the Community of St Egidio in El Salvador, was shot dead by while returning home on the evening of 28 September. The assassins were members of one of the many violent organized gangs formed by young people in poor neighborhoods of Central America. For five years William was involved in the School of Peace for the poor children of the neighborhood of Apopa, in the suburbs of the capital, San Salvador. His peaceful and good life, serving the youth most in need was well-known and presented an alternative to violent gangs.
The body of Fr Ed Hinds, 61, Pastor of St Patrick Church in Chatham, New Jersey (USA), about 10 miles from Newark, was found on the morning of Saturday, October 24, in the kitchen adjacent to the Rectory of the church, covered with numerous injuries and wounds caused by an sharp weapon. On the morning of Saturday, shortly after 8pm, a deacon and a maintenance person went to look for him, since he had not arrived for the Mass in the morning. There, they came upon the murder. The priest, was seen for the last time the night before, around 11pm, during a community meeting in the premises of the rectory, and he was fine. Very involved in supporting the oppressed, the priest was considered the heart and soul of the community of St Patrick, where he was pastor for seven years.
Fr Louis Jousseaume, 70, native of the Diocese of Lucon (France) was attacked and murdered on the evening of October 26, in the rectory of Egletons, Diocese of Tulle, where he was pastor from 1981, as well as chaplain of the movement "Chretien en monde rural" (CMR) and responsible for the liturgical and sacramental ministries. Fr Louis served for over 40 years in the Diocese of Tulle, where among other things had been chaplain at the Breeve high school and engaged in service to those with disabilities. From those who knew him was described as a man who was loving, open, who had spent his entire life under the sign of the Gospel, take special note of the poorest and the weakest, especially the handicapped. In fact, it was one of these mentally unbalanced persons who attacked and killed him.
Sister Marguerite Bartz, 64, of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament (SBS), based in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, was killed in her convent of Saint Berard in the area of the Navajo, New Mexico, on Sunday, November 1st. As the nun was not present at Sunday Mass, a co-worker went in search of her and found her body. According to the FBI, the nun was murdered on the night of Saturday, October 31 and the morning of Sunday, November 1. The nun was known as a woman passionate for justice and peace. Sister Marguerite was born in Plymouth, Wisconsin in 1945. She entered the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament (SBS) in 1966 in Beaumont, Texas and took her perpetual vows in 1974. After earning a degree in Literature and a Masters in Religious Education, for over 40 years, Sister Marguerite served in the missions in different places. The Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament (SBS) were founded in 1891 by St Katherine Drexel (1858-1955) to spread the Gospel message and Eucharistic life, especially among Native Americans and African-Americans.
Father Hidalberto Henrique Guimaraes, 48, pastor of the church of Our Lady of Grace in the town of Murici on the outskirts of Maceió (AL), Brazil, was found murdered on 7 November, two days after his disappearance. That day he was supposed to celebrate a Mass in the city of Branquinho, and precisely because of his absence, a friend went to his house to find him. Upon entering, he found the bloodied body of the priest on the kitchen floor, with many cuts all over his body. Father Hidalberto was ordained a priest in the Church of St Joseph, in the district Trapiche, in Maceió, December 14, 1992. He had recently earned a degree in journalism. The priest was much loved by his parishioners.
Guatemalan Capuchin priest Fr Miguel Angel Hernandez, 45, for four years serving a parish in Ocotepeque (Honduras), was found dead in a province of eastern Guatemala, having died a few days earlier. Honduran police sources say Father Hernandez was kidnapped on his way from Ocotepeque towards the eastern city of Chiquimula (Guatemala). The priest's body was found inside a small motel in the town of Esquipulas, about 222 kilometres east of the capital, having suffered several stab wounds. The death must have occurred on November 8. The Capuchins have been working for many years in the border area between Honduras and Guatemala, where they have different communities. Fr Miguel had been principal of a Catholic school and was a close friend of the youth. He was very dedicated in his work, simple, clear in his preaching, always very sincere, and consistent.
Fr Jean Gaston Buli was killed in the night between the 9th and 10th of November, by armed bandits who entered the rectory of his parish in Nyakasanza, in Bunia (Ituri) (DR Congo). Around 2.30am, the robbers forced open the door of the office and fatally wounded the priest, who, transported to a nearby hospital, unfortunately died soon after due to severe hemorrhaging. F. Jean Gaston, after 24 years of priesthood, had recently been appointed vicar-treasurer of the parish in Nyakasanza.
Fr Daniel Cizimya Nakamaga, 51, who served for 12 years as a priest in Bukavu (DR Congo), was killed in his parish of Kabare on Sunday, December 6, at two o'clock in the morning. Some unknown assailants attacked the parish house on the night and after tearing off the bars of a window, entered the house. Fr Daniel tried to take refuge in his room, but was reached by the criminals and killed in cold blood.
Fr Louis Blondel, 70, of the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers), was killed on the night of Sunday December 6 and Monday, December 7, in Diepsloot, one of the townships of Pretoria, South Africa. During the night three young men entered the missionaries' living quarters. Having woken a brother of Fr Louis and another person who was sleeping in the house and stealing their mobile phones, they requested to have the main door of the house opened. Through it came another boy, who asked if there were other people in the house. They then headed towards the room of Fr Louis, who opened the door and was immediately killed with the shot of a firearm. Fr Louis was a native of northern France. He had taught philosophy in Tanzania for 15 years. By 1987, he had moved to South Africa. In June 2009, he finished his second term as Superior of the Province of Southern Africa (Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa) of the White Fathers. He taught philosophy at St Peter's Seminary, Hammanskraal. After founding "Cordis", an Emmaus Centre, and having worked in the development of Orange Farm, a huge township in Johannesburg, in 2008 Fr Blondel had moved to Diepsloot, another township of about 300,000 people located between Johannesburg and Pretoria. In Diepsloot, Fr Blondet had opened a new parish.
Sister Denise Kahambu Muhayirwa, 44, a Trappist nun, was killed on the evening of December 7, by armed men in uniform who entered the monastery of “Notre Dame de la Clarté" in Murhesa, 20 kilometres from Bukavu, in the territory of Kabare, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The nun, in charge of reception and the concierge of the monastery, was killed around 8pm while, after having prayed vespers with the community, she was going to clear the tables where the guests from Goma had eaten. The guests had come to attend the ceremony for their daughters who were going to take the habit and begin their novitiate the following day, December 8. Noticing the presence of unwanted guests, the nun started running and shouting to warn her sisters, pursued by gangsters who shot her in the leg, causing her death.
Fr Jeremiah Roche, of the Irish Society of St Patrick for Foreign Missions, was murdered on the night of December 10 and 11 by strangers who came to his home in Kericho, 250 kilometres from Nairobi (Kenya). The body of the missionary, who lived alone, was discovered by several parishioners alarmed by the fact that Fr Roche did not appear to celebrate the Mass at 6 in the morning. The missionary had his hands tied and machete wounds to the head. Fr Roche served in Kenya since 1968 and recently had completed a new church. He promoted various development projects, thanks to his incessant fund-raising, which was supported by his large family. The act was probably carried out by some local youths, the local police commander said, who thought that the missionary had some kind of treasure and broke into the house for a robbery, which ended tragically. The youth took some clothing, which they left in the street, as well as a CD player and a cellular phone.
Brazilian priest Fr Alvino Broering, 46, was stabbed at dawn on December 14 in the southern state of Santa Catarina (Brazil) by a man who then stole his car, according to information from the police. The priest was hit with several stab wounds in the back, abdomen, and face, and was transported to the hospital Marieta Bornhausen Kondyor Massif, where he had surgery, but unfortunately died shortly after. Fr Alvino was chaplain of the University of Vale do Itajai and director of the community radio station Conceição FM. The radio, in 2010, will celebrate its 10th anniversary and Father Alvino had already begun to make preparations for the anniversary celebrations. He was also a member of the Academy of Letters of Itajai, and was very active in the city and the region. He was a priest who was very easy to approach, outgoing, charismatic, and loved by all.
Colombian priest Fr Emiro Jaramillo Cardenas, 73, was killed on the evening of Sunday, December 20 at his home, located in Santa Rosa de Osos, about 74 km from the city of Medellin. According to some acquaintances of the priest, who was in charge of the Chapel "Our Lord of Humility", Father Jaramillo had not received any threats against his life. His body was found by a relative who, surprised by the fact that he had not come to the chapel, went looking for him. The door of his apartment was open and upon entering, he found the body of the priest with knife wounds. Fr Emir Don Jaramillo was ordained priest in 1966. Since 1999, he worked at the chapel dedicated to “Our Lady of Humility,” a place rich in history and spirituality, often visited by the faithful of this city.
At least 37 Catholic missionaries were killed around the world during 2009 – nearly double the number reported in 2008 - Fides reports.