Headlines from the New York Times for Wednesday, July 19, 2017
The Paradox of Mexico’s Mass Graves (an editorial by Ioan Grillo)
The Colinas de Santa Fe neighborhood on the outskirts of this port city looks like hundreds of other residential housing developments built across Mexico in recent decades. Streets are lined with identical brick homes — bungalows with two bedrooms, painted pink, blue or green and advertised as being close to a shopping mall. Yards are cluttered with children’s bikes, basketball hoops and satellite dishes. But on the edge of the estate, investigators announced in March, fields for grazing cattle hid thousands of decaying body parts, including more than 250 skulls, buried in a number of pits.
Drug cartels are widely believed to be behind the mass grave. Most of the victims are yet to be identified. A mother living a few blocks from the field said she had no idea it was there. In April, residents filed a complaint that the smell of rotting corpses being unearthed was seeping into their homes.
I’ve covered Mexico’s violence since 2001, but I am still dumbstruck by the extent to which normal life seems to carry on next door to such terrors. A study released last month found that at least 1,400 bodies were dug up from mass graves across the country between 2009 and 2014. And those are just a fraction of the 176,000 murders that police have counted here over the last decade.
At the same time, Mexico has a trillion-dollar economy and is the eighth-most-visited tourist destination on the planet. The government denies there is an armed conflict going on.
The site was discovered not by the police but by mothers searching for their disappeared children. One of them, Maria de Lourdes Rosales, was trying to find her son, a 25-year-old customs worker who was abducted by a group of gunmen in 2013. After the police found no trace of him, she joined other family members of the more than 30,000 people who have disappeared across the country to demand justice. “You live with great pain every day,” Ms. Rosales told me. “You are missing something in your life, in your heart, in your soul, and your only goal is finding them.”
One day, when a group of mothers were marching in protest, a car drew up and a mysterious man got out to give them a hand-drawn map showing where the mass grave was. The mothers went to the site and began digging. Only after they unearthed clothes and human bones did the state forensics teams take over.
Readings from the Sermon on the Mount for Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Matthew 5.6 – “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
The translation of the Greek word for “righteousness” can be either “righteousness” or “justice.” It is perfectly in keeping with God’s desires for us that we hunger and thirst for righteous and holy living. It is also consistent with God’s will that justice prevail for those who desperately need it.
As you pray this passage, please pray for both righteousness and justice to increase in the earth.
Prayers for Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Dear God, we pray for both your righteousness and your justice to increase in the earth.