The Mexican government have apologized after federal police burst into a parish and interrupted Mass in the western state of Michoacan to apprehend a drug-cartel suspect. An Aug. 4 statement from the Secretariat of Public Security apologized to the Mexican bishops' conference, Bishop Miguel Patino Velazquez of Apatzingan, and the faithful "for the circumstances in which the operation had to be carried out." The statement said that the raid in an Apatzingan parish was undertaken to avoid gunfire and a "violent incident."
The raid on Aug. 1 resulted in the arrests of 33 alleged members of a cartel known as La Familia Michoacana and the seizure of cash, weapons, fragmentation grenades and luxury vehicles. The detainees include Miguel Beraza Villa—known as "La Troca" (the Truck)—a cartel lieutenant that Mexican and U.S. authorities allege was responsible for transporting tractor-trailers full of synthetic drugs such as "ice" and "crystal" from the cartel's clandestine laboratories to the United States via Tijuana, Mexico. The bishops' conference had criticized the raid as a show of disrespect for the sanctity of Mass.