Mexico archdiocese suspends seven priests for abuse

Mexico City — The archdiocese of Tijuana has suspended seven priests -- including one sued for abuse in Los Angeles -- over allegations of sexual abuse.

The priests are not allowed to practice their ministries, Mexican media reported.

An archdiocesan spokesman confirmed to The Associated Press the American priest was Fr. Jeffrey Newell, who worked previously in the Los Angeles archdiocese.

No other names were released by the archdiocese.

In a June 17 statement, the archdiocese said: "As a church we make a call to those that have been victims of abuse to minors or witnesses to it to file complaints with the competent civil authorities."

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A spokesman for the archdiocese of Tijuana was unavailable for comment.

"Father Newell should have never been given a church job in Mexico," the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said in a June 20 statement.

Pope Francis has spoken harshly against those committing crimes against children and called for zero tolerance.

Earlier in June, the archdiocese of San Luis Potosi suspended Fr. Eduardo Cordova Bautista after the Vatican ordered him to face charges for abusing a 16-year-old boy in 2012. Cordova's whereabouts are unknown.

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