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Catholic Priest Kidnapped In Mexico Found Dead

Father Gregorio Lopez Gorostieta disappeared on Sunday in Guerrero, Mexico, according to his diocese. He was found fatally shot on Christmas.

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A Mexican priest was kidnapped in the Southern state of Guerrero and later found shot to death, according to his diocese.

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Father Gregorio Lopez Gorostieta, 39, disappeared on Sunday. In an open letter, Bishop Maximino Martínez Miranda pleaded for information on what the unknown kidnappers wanted for the priest's safe return.

The kidnapping sparked outrage among Mexicans, coming after the disappearance — and presumed death — of 43 student teachers in the state earlier this year.

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One peaceful march called for peace and the return of all kidnapping victims.

On Thursday, Christmas Day, the Church announced his death. He was the third Catholic priest to have been killed in the region this year.

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"May God forgive whoever committed this abhorrent act," a church official wrote on Facebook.

Gorostieta was found in an alley with a gunshot wound to his head, CNN reported. His vehicle had been found abandoned days earlier.

No motive is known for his death, which church officials believe took place Monday. In the past, priests have faced threats from members of local gangs for anything from not performing a marriage quickly enough to not providing a cut of church offerings, the Associated Press reported.

"This is another priest added to those who have died for their love of Christ," Bishop Martinez said in a statement. "Enough already of so much pain, of so many murders. Enough already of so much crime. Enough extortions."

Claudia Koerner is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Claudia Koerner at claudia.koerner@buzzfeed.com.

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