Roman Catholic Church bishops condemned the ongoing "corruption, impunity and violence" in Mexico over the missing 43 students believed to have been massacred by a criminal gang after being handed over by corrupt policemen. Massive protests in Acapulco against government inaction meanwhile resulted in clashes that left 16 officers injured.
"Adding our voice to theirs and to all of society, we say, 'Enough with so much corruption, impunity and violence,'" the Mexican bishops' conference said, standing in solidarity with the victims' families.
"Respectfully and energetically, we ask the authorities to take the investigation to its final consequences so that it's known with certainty what has happened with the disappeared, and the intellectual authors ... are punished with the full weight of the law," the statement continued, according to Catholic News Service.
"At the same time, we demand the enforcing of the rule of law to put an end to all forms of violence, illicit activities, corruption, impunity and the complicity of some authorities with organized crime."
The Guardian reported that protests led to police clashes in Acapulco over the government's response to the case, where 43 student teachers were taken in southern Mexico six weeks ago.
The kidnappings in September were allegedly carried out by police officers who turned the students over to the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel. Three students were reported to have been killed in the incident, and while there is no official confirmation on what happened to the others, authorities have stated they believe the students were killed by the gang members.
Attorney General Jesús Murillo revealed last week that a large group of young people were massacred in a rubbish tip near Iguala shortly after the students were taken. The victims were then burned on a large pyre for 14 hours, making identification of the remains very difficult.
The protests in Acapulco on Monday resulted in 16 injured officers, but there is no official number of how many demonstrators were injured.
Mexican citizens have been expressing their increasing frustration with government corruption and inability to deal with the country's large criminal gangs problem.
The Bishop of Campeche, His Exc. Mgr. José Francisco Gonzalez, said in his homily on Sunday: "We live in a very corrupt country, where the people and the politicians are not interested in living in the truth."
He added, "What happened in Iguala is not an isolated case."
Gonzalez called on people to refuse to cover or protect criminals, and encouraged them to denounce irresponsible politicians, who he accused of having "turned away from God and the truth."
He reminded the congregation that "Jesus cleansed the Temple, which had become a den of thieves and corrupt people, and that is what is lacking in our country."
Jesuit Fr. Conrado Zepeda separately commented on the protests, and said that the case with the massacred students was "the straw that broke the camel's back."
"It has to do with the young, students, the poor, people unable to defend themselves being attacked in this way. This is why civil society has revolted," Zepeda said.