Benjamín Jiménez Hernández, the bishop of Culiacán, Sinaloa, extended his arm. Speaking in his packed and sweltering church in northwestern Mexico, he called for action, as his flock sweated it out. “We must fight for our faith, we must fight for our future. ... This heat we’re living in today, we must use our faith to conquer it.”
A group of young narcos, as Mexico’s drug traffickers are known, had been killed the day before in Jiménez’s violence-plagued city. Hundreds of locals had turned up to the church to hear his words of calm, braving the 90-degree heat inside to hear what they hoped might be solutions.
There were none. As they filed out of Mass, many of the faithful simply shook their heads. They headed back to their homes, dismayed, perhaps comforted, but nothing more. The next day, the headlines offered up more of the same: three more Culiacán narcos butchered.