In a recent statement, the Mexican bishops’ conference voiced “great sorrow” at recent acts of violence in both the U.S. and Mexico, which they said were “provoked by intolerance, xenophobia and discrimination.”

Last week, a Mexican police officer shot and killed a Salvadoran man waiting to hop a freight train to the U.S. The prosecutor’s office said the man attacked the officer, but the local migrant center contested this account.

On Saturday Aug. 3, an armed man opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, TX. He killed 22 people and injured more than two dozen others before he was taken into police custody.

The alleged shooter reportedly published a four-page document online in the hours before the attack, detailing his hatred toward immigrants and Hispanics. He also reportedly described the weapons he would use in the shooting.

Less than 24 hours later, a 24-year-old man fired an assault rifle in downtown Dayton, Ohio, killing nine people and injuring more than two dozen others. Within one minute, Dayton police arrived and killed the shooter.

The Mexican bishops' conference offered “prayers for the relatives of those who lost a loved one in these fateful events or who were injured.”

They said that “with sadness we see these acts of violence are increasing, encouraged by those who create divisions, who close their hearts to their fellow human beings, and don't recognize the human dignity that every person possesses, regardless of the color of their skin or nationality.”

Warning that “hate speech only engenders aggression and death,” the bishops called for both government officials and citizens in the United States and Mexico to “foster a discourse in accord with peace, equality, fraternity and collaboration, since both nationals and foreigners that reside in a country make a nation greater and stronger.”

In addition, they encouraged prayers for all victims of hatred and violence, that they may “find the consolation of faith and peace in Jesus Christ Our Lord.”


This article was originally published by our sister agency, ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.