New HLPM moderator expresses solidarity with murdered Mexican students

PC(USA)’s Hispanic Latinos Presbyterian Men hold fifth triennial assembly in Las Vegas in wake of tragedy

November 14, 2014

LAS VEGAS, Nev.

After a successful Triennial Assembly here that gathered a crowd of more than 200 participants, the new Executive Committee of Hispanic/Latino Presbyterian Men (HLPM) set their goals for the next three years, affirming their commitment to transform the organization into a meaningful, functional and visible entity in the life of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

The Assembly was, in fact, a big workshop that processed and re-formulated these ideas in many ways.

The presentations of the main speakers, Bishop Minerva Carcaño and Luis N. Rivera Pagán, challenged participants to fight for justice, inclusiveness and love for other creatures of God.

The Assembly also gathered in small workshops to explore the “re-creation” of  the church, our families, our stewardship and our relation with God’s creation on the light of these same principles.

In the context of these reflections, the news about the horrendous murder of 43 Mexican students in Guerrero Mexico, generated consternation in their newly elected leaders and the moderator prepared a statement responding to this crime.

The statement, signed by the Rev. Pedro P. Morataya, moderator of HLPM calls “…all individuals, families, congregations and faith organizations in general, to join in prayer and all kinds of actions… so that the Mexican authorities exercise justice and do not leave unpunished this crime that affects the humankind created by God to live in harmony, brotherhood/sisterhood and peace. This is a crucial time for us as people of faith to raise our prophetic voice, announcing consolation, strength and support to these families, but at the same time demanding in front of the world that this crime must not remain unpunished.”

The statement affirms that “our responsibility as Christian organization is to be on the side of those who suffer injustice, abuse and death from evil human systems of this sinner world,” and finally “…demands from the Mexican Government to proceed with an immediate full investigation to find those who are physically and intellectually responsible of these murders, and apply the weight of the law to all who have cowardly truncated the lives of these young people…”

This full text of the Nov. 9 statement, which is the best example of the scope and impact of the V Triennial National Assembly of the Hispanos Latinos Presbyterian Men:

“The Mexican Prosecutor’s office confirms that the 43 disappeared students were assassinated.”  "I have no doubt that there was a mass homicide and there are indications that they are the students," the officer said. The parents do not accept this version "without proof or evidence"

In the name of God, justice and freedom to which all human beings are entitled, and as moderator of the Presbyterian Hispanic/Latino Men’s organization of the Presbyterian Church (USA), we join in solidarity with the pain, despair and sadness of parents, relatives and friends of the 43 students disappeared in Mexico. The announcement of the public prosecutor's office confirming a mass homicide, has created great consternation to the people of Mexico and the international community in general.

Based on the principle that only our Creator has the right to decide on our human life, we join to families and all Mexicans to demand from the Mexican Government to proceed with an immediate full investigation to find those who are physical and intellectual responsible of these murders and apply all the weight of the law to all who have cowardly truncated the lives of these young people, leaving deep wounds and indelible emotional and spiritual marks in the lives of their families.

We call all individuals, families, congregations and faith organizations in general, to join in prayer and all kinds of support that is required so that the Mexican authorities exercise justice and do not leave unpunished this crime that affects the humankind created by God to live in harmony, brotherhood/sisterhood and peace. This is a crucial time for us as people of faith to raise our prophetic voice, announcing consolation, strength and support to these families, but at the same time demanding in front of the world that this crime must not remain unpunished. Our responsibility as Christian organization is to be on the side of those who suffer injustice, abuse and death from evil human systems of this sinner world.

While we reaffirm our support and solidarity with the families and the Mexican people in all parts of the world, we remind to our brothers and sisters of faith communities that crimes like this are sin and a signal of evil in the eyes of God, but to keep silence before such crimes is also sinful and unacceptable for our God.

"You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you" (James 5:6)

For justice and peace,

Rev. Dr. Pedro P. Morataya, National Moderator

Hispanos Latinos Presbyterian Men

The Presbyterian Church (USA)

The Rev. Jose Luis Casal is general missioner for Tres Rios Presbytery in west Texas. 

  1. Iagree with everything stated in the above commentary. Our world has become complacent in the face of the tragedies we have suffered -- people's lives are ended as easily as a casual walk in the park -- ruthlessly and in an inhumane way. We are slowly sinking into an animal state, yet even they have a code to their agression -- survival. They don't kill just to kill. The events occuring in our world today have nothing to do with survival, but are purely evil and most people are either too focused on themselves or simply don't care or perhaps we have simply become indifferent -- and that is the greatest tragedy of all.

    by Joan Villa

    November 15, 2014