A Catholic priest in northern Mexico is still nowhere to be found after 19 people filed a sexual abuse criminal complaint against him with authorities late last month.
Eduardo Córdova, a clergyman and legal representative for the church in the state of San Luis Potosi, is accused of using his clout to prey upon minors over the course of his 30-year career.
Evidence has been passed on to prosecutors but no formal charges have been filed yet. Cordova’s current whereabouts are unknown.
The Vatican has since stripped Córdova of his clerical functions, following investigations into the alleged sexual abuse of a 16-year-old in 2012.
While 19 people came forward on May 30 to denounce the priest, local activist groups have claimed to have known about Córdova’s alleged abuses as early as 2004.
“There could be 100 victims,” said Alberto Athié Gallo, a former priest and founder of the organization Citizens’ Initiative, which works to bring sexual predators within Mexico’s Catholic Church to justice.
The allegations against Córdova publicly surfaced in April, when Athié said during an interview on a Mexico City radio station (MVS) that “there were many cases of sexual abuse within the church involving Eduardo Córdova.”
Scandal Rocks San Luis Potosi
The scandal has shaken the state capital of San Luis Potosí, where Cordova was a well-known figure.
In a series of VICE News interviews with Potosinos — state capital residents — the reaction is not of shock or even surprise, but rather of disappointment in a church that is seen as concentrating its efforts on covering up the crimes of one of their own.