Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Now Extortionists Are Hitting Up the Preachers

Norte reports this morning in an unsigned story that some evangelical churches in Cd. Juarez have been the victims of extortion attempts. The source for the information was José Antonio Galván, the director of a home for the mentally ill, who was the victim of an extortion last year, causing him to move to El Paso. He told Norte he was told to contribute $2000 (US) monthly. He was threatened but finally told he would be forgiven because he was known by one of the members of the extortion gang, but he decided to flee to El Paso anyway. He returned to Juarez a few months later so he could continue preaching, and has come into contact with the extortionists but they have not demanded money. His home houses 114 mentally ill patients, he said, and while he takes contributions to keep the home running he has no money of his own.

Galvan also told Norte he believes at least 50 or 60 other pastors have been victims of extortion. In some cases, he said, children of the pastors have been killed, while some pastors have been beaten.

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