The group of Santa Fe pilgrims heard the news on the way to Chihuahua. Six people were shot dead. Victims of the narcotraficantes and their war over the drug trade. Father Tri told the pilgrims to use their common sense and to stay safe. Chihuahua is a pleasant city but the drug war has gripped this town just as it has gripped towns and cities across Mexico. And the war reared its evil and ugly face here yesterday.
Newspaper headlines in Mexico regularly have words like NARCO, DROGAS, MATARON and CARTEL splashed across their pages. The photos are graphic. The pain is real. The government is helpless.
A common theme the pilgrims have heard on their trip is that what the people have turned to during their desperate time is prayer. And in Mexico when people pray they direct that spiritual energy to La Virgen.
During the visit yesterday a woman came up to Deacon Anthony Trujillo. She asked for a blessing. She thanked him and the Santa Fe pilgrims for bringing the statue and the spirit of La Virgen to her town. She said she hopes that by the grand image of Our Lady visiting her town that the drug killings and the violence would stop. They did not want the statue of Nuestra Señora to leave.
Santa Fe pilgrim Gail Delgado in front of the Cathedral of Chihuahua
Mexican Army soliders, one of the main forces fighting the Narcos. The other is prayer from the Mexican population.