On June 20th, the Jesuit priests Joaquín César Mora and Javier Campos, were killed in the community of Cerocahui, in Urique, a municipality in the Sierra Tarahumara, Chihuahua. The priests were shot in the community's church, as they attempted to help Mr. Pedro Palma, a local tour guide, who reportedly had been pursued by a gunman. Both priests were widely recognized as human rights defenders of the Indigenous Rarámuri, Ódami, and mestizo communities. A local crime boss affiliated with the Sinaloa cartel, Jose Noriel Portillo Gil, who is believed to be responsible for the murder, has not yet been apprehended. Since 2021, at least 34 Catholic priests have been murdered in Mexico.

On August 4th, Representative Jim McGovern and Representative Anna Eshoo, alongside 20 other members of Congress, sent a letter to President Biden, urging that the Biden administration work closely with the Mexican government to ensure justice for these killings and to implement policies to end the crisis of violence in Mexico.

Violence is a constant in the Sierra Tarahumara, where organized crime rings push Indigenous communities off their lands in order to plant poppies for opium or illegally harvest forests for timber. Hundreds of indigenous families have been forcibly displaced from their land at the hands of organized crime.