Nineteen people have filed a criminal complaint alleging they were sexually abused by a now-suspended Mexican priest, and allege his archdiocese covered up the allegations for years.
The complaint was filed Friday with prosecutors in the central Mexican state of San Luis Potosi, where priest Eduardo Cordova had recently served as the archdiocese’s legal representative.
Mexico’s Roman Catholic Church announced on Tuesday that the Vatican had stripped Cordova of his clerical functions after investigations into allegations of the sexual abuse of a 16-year-old in 2012.
The allegations emerged in public in April when former priest Alberto Athie, who had long campaigned for recognition of the sex crimes of Legion of Christ founder Marcial Maciel, appeared on MVS radio in Mexico City and said there was evidence of scores of cases involving Cordova.
Armando Martinez Gomez, the president of the Catholic Lawyers College of Mexico, said this week that the church has forwarded evidence to Mexican prosecutors. He said church authorities had investigated a similar allegation in 1998 but had not found enough evidence to substantiate it.
Archdiocese officials said earlier in the month that other allegations had not been substantiated, but urged those with complaints to bring them to prosecutors. Cordova, however, has disappeared, according to church and prosecution officials.
Martinez, who is speaking for the archdiocese in the case, told The Associated Press that both the current and previous archbishops of San Luis Potosi are willing to cooperate with authorities.
Martin Faz, a spokesman for the activist group Citizen’s Action that is backing the complaints, said they also accuse the archdiocese of covering up the crimes, saying it knew of the abuses since 2004. The 19 complaints filed Friday cover a decade during which Cordova was priest in the El Paseo neighborhood.
“Cordova had been abusing children and youth for 30 years in all the institutions in which he worked, and we calculate there could be 100 victims,” said Athie, who leads Citizens’ Initiative.
Fax said that Cordova would choose children aged 13 to 16, gain their confidence during confessions or pastoral work and then abuse them.
Vatican suspends Mexican pedophile priest
Eduardo Córdova sexually abused a child in San Luis Potosí.
AP| El Universal
12:51Tuesday 27 May 2014
The Vatican suspended Mexican priest Eduardo Córdova for sexually abusing a child, said Armando Martínez Gómez, chairman of the College of Catholic Lawyers of Mexico.
Martínez was in charge of investigating the complaints by the Archdiocese of San Luis Potosí, where the priest served.
He explained that the parents of the child complained in 2012 that Córdova abused their son when he was 16. Witnesses were interrogated and the results of the investigation were sent to the Vatican, that recommended the suspension of the priest, he explained.
The information was also shared with the Mexican authorities so that a criminal investigation is conducted.
Next month, the pontiff will meet at the Vatican with a group of victims of sexual abuse. Pope Francis has said that the Vatican is investigating three more bishops in connection with this crime.
“The Archdiocese of San Luis Potosi has offered to cooperate with the state attorney general’s office to shed light on the crime Cordova is accused of,” a spokesman for the attorney general’s office said.
The spokesman said he did not know if Cordova would be asked to testify or whether he would be detained.
(Reporting by Liz Diaz; Editing by Simon Gardner and Mohammad Zargham)
Billboard Appears In San Luis Potosi Seeking Victims Of Pedophile Catholic Priest Córdova Bautista
Group sponsors a billboard seeking victims of pedophile priest Córdova Bautista.
Hispanic News Newtwork
By H. Nelson Goodson
May 21, 2014
San Luis Potosi, Mexico – On Monday, a billboard appeared seeking sexual abuse children to come forward and testify against accused pedophile Catholic priest Eduardo Córdova Bautista from the San Luis Potosi Archdiocese. The billboard sponsored by the Victims Foundation of Pedophiles (VFP). The VFP group included a Facebook page, but has since been disabled, an e-mail and a Twitter account on the billboard.
The billboard was removed about four hours later. No one knows who order it removed.
Bautista had been accused of sexually molesting more than 100 children in the last 30 years. He has been ordered by the Archdiocese of San Luis Potosi not to leave town.
The San Luis Potosi Department of Justice on Monday has requested for the Archdiocese to hand over all the complaints of sexual abuse against Bautista, according to Miguel Ángel Covarrubias, the head prosecutor.
The Archdiocese of San Luis Potosi confirmed during a press conference that the Vatican has received complaints and are looking into multiple sexual abuse allegations against Bautista. Some of the victims began to testify against Bautista in recent weeks.
Bautista hasn’t been charged, but is facing multiple charges for sexual abuse and molesting children while being a priest.
Eduardo Córdova Bautista