Catholic Leaders Offer Prayers After Mexico Truck Crash Kills at Least 54

In a telegram sent Dec. 10, the Holy Father said that he prays for the eternal rest of the deceased and expressed his deep sorrow to the families of the victims.

Mexican national guard officers work in the area after a traffic accident that killed migrants from Central America on December 9, 2021 in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico. A truck accident leaves at least 49 people dead and dozens injured according to authorities. Most of the victims are believed to be migrants from Central American who were travelling on a truck that rolled over and crashed into a pedestrian bridge.
Mexican national guard officers work in the area after a traffic accident that killed migrants from Central America on December 9, 2021 in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico. A truck accident leaves at least 49 people dead and dozens injured according to authorities. Most of the victims are believed to be migrants from Central American who were travelling on a truck that rolled over and crashed into a pedestrian bridge. (photo: Alfredo Pacheco / Getty)

Pope Francis has expressed his closeness to the victims of Thursday’s traffic accident in Mexico’s Chiapas state that caused the death of at least 54 people, and numerous injuries.

On the afternoon of Dec. 9 a speeding truck with about 150 people jammed into the trailer rolled over on the highway to Tuxtla Gutiérrez, a city about 100 miles from the border with Guatemala.

Mario Búcaro, Guatemala’s ambassador to Mexico, confirmed that the majority were Guatemalan migrants and that the rest came from other Central American countries.

In a telegram sent Dec. 10, the Holy Father said that he prays for the eternal rest of the deceased and expressed his deep sorrow to the families of the victims.

The telegram was sent to the Archbishop Fabio Martínez Castilla of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, and signed by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

“Pope Francis, deeply saddened to learn the painful news of the traffic accident that occurred in Chiapas, which has caused the death of more than 50 migrants and many injured, offers his prayers for the eternal rest of the deceased.”

The Holy Father also expressed “his deep sorrow to the families of the victims, together with his heartfelt expressions of closeness and consolation, of lively solicitude and desire for the prompt recovery of the injured.”

The Archdiocese of Tuxtla Gutiérrez expressed its “deep sadness” over the accident that “adds to a long list of the sufferings endured by our migrant brothers in their transit through our country.”

In the message signed by Archbishop Martínez and Father Gilberto Hernández García, who is in charge of social ministry, the archdiocese said on Twitter that “We lift up our prayers to God, rich in mercy, and in consolation for these brothers of ours who have lost their lives in such a way. We also pray to God for those who have been injured in this accident, particularly those in more serious condition. We ask the Lord to look at them with compassion, strengthen them from within, and that, in his will, restore their lives and health.” 

They also expressed their condolences and “solidarity with their families” and encouraged them to “put your trust in God, who remains with you in this time of sorrow and death. We ask our Mother of Guadalupe to take you into her loving arms.”

“We call on the authorities to determine the facts regarding this unfortunate incident and establish the mechanisms so that situations like these are not repeated.”

“The blood of these brothers cries out to Heaven; institutionalized corruption cries out to Heaven; indifference to the suffering of migrants cries out to Heaven,” the message of the Archdiocese of Tuxtla Gutiérrez concluded.

The Governor of Chiapas, Rutilio Escandón, expressed his solidarity with the victims and said that “responsibilities will be determined in accordance with the law.”

Ivan Aivazovsky, “Walking on Water,” ca. 1890

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“The witness of Scripture is unanimous that the solicitude of divine providence is concrete and immediate; God cares for all, from the least things to the great events of the world and its history. The sacred books powerfully affirm God's absolute sovereignty over the course of events …” (CCC 303)