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Vehicles set on fire during the violence in Culiacán

NOVEMBER 8, 2019

One of Jehovah’s Witnesses Killed During Violent Battle in Culiacán, Mexico

On October 17, 2019, police officers and Mexican security forces exchanged gunfire with heavily armed drug cartel members in Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico, a city of nearly one million residents. During the hours of the gunfights, major roads were blocked, cars were set on fire, and inmates escaped from a nearby prison. Officials say that at least 14 people were killed. Sadly, the Central America branch reports that one of our brothers, Noé Beltrán, was among those killed during the fighting.

Noé Beltrán with two of his children

Brother Beltrán, a 39-year-old father of three, was at work when a stray bullet struck him. Local brothers and sisters, along with the circuit overseer, are providing Scriptural comfort and encouragement to his wife, Rocío, and their young children.

There are over 7,000 publishers in Culiacán in 80 congregations. During the fighting, some congregations temporarily adjusted arrangements for the midweek meeting and meetings for field service. Some brothers and sisters tied in to the midweek meeting from their homes. Circuit overseers are taking the lead in shepherding all who went through this frightening and unexpected outbreak of violence.

We are truly saddened to learn of the tragic death of Brother Beltrán, and we pray that Jehovah continues to support Sister Beltrán and their children. We long for the time when the earth will be filled with peace and grief will be replaced with “great ecstasy.”—Mark 5:42.