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Martínez, left, and Riojas. Martínez, left, and Riojas.

17 Coahuila priests accused of abuse

Sexual abuse 'survivor' alleges they are part of a network of pedophiles

A man who describes himself as a survivor of sexual abuse in the Catholic church has given church authorities a list of 17 priests whom he alleges are part of a “network of pedophiles.”

The first indication of sexual abuse in the diocese of Piedras Negras, Coahuila, was revealed when two men came forward and formally accused parish priest Juan Manuel Riojas of sexual assault.

Close to 20 men of the cloth are now facing similar accusations.

Father Javier Calzada Tamez filed the first complaint against Riojas almost a year ago accusing him of sexual abuse on various occasions while he was a student at a seminary. Calzada was a minor at the time.

That accusation was followed by another by by Ignacio Martínez Pacheco, who declared that Riojas abused him when he was 15 years old.

Since then, 11 accusations of pedophilia have been filed against Riojas and five other Catholic priests. The former has been arrested and and is being held in custody. The first hearing in his criminal case was held in January; another is scheduled for next Thursday.

Yesterday, Martínez presented church authorities in Mexico City with a list of 17 more cases of Coahuila priests that he alleges belong to a network of pedophilia.

He told the newspaper Milenio that he met with authorities “as a survivor and not as a victim” and demanded they investigate the cases.

Martínez said the officials advised him how to file a formal complaint before the Vatican, which will be presented next week.

Source: Milenio (sp), Vanguardia (sp)

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