Priest investigated for helping refugees

January 30, 2012

Mexican human rights groups and the migration ministry of the Mexican bishops' conference have expressed outrage at the attorney general's office for pursuing anonymous criminal complaints against a priest who provided material and spiritual support to a group of displaced Guatemalans.

The groups also took issue with Mexican immigration officials forcibly removing some of the Guatemalans, who had been living in a camp near the Mexico-Guatemala border since August after fleeing a violent displacement in their country.

Franciscan Father Tomas Gonzalez Castillo is accused of human trafficking for doing what his supporters say was nothing more than providing food and shelter.

Gonzalez said his migrant shelter and a parish human rights centre were the only organizations that offered support to the Guatemalans who "arrived with nothing more than the clothes on their backs."