August 1, 2014
Pope grieves over lynchings: 'I felt the kicking in my soul'
In a letter addressed to two Argentine humanists living in Sweden, Pope Francis deeply regretted the murder of an 18-year-old who was beat to death by a group of Rosario citizens after he had allegedly stolen a woman’s purse. “The worst that can happen to us is to forget about that scene,” the pontiff said.
“I felt the kicking in my soul. He was no Martian, he was a young boy from our own people. I thought about Jesus; what would he say if he was the referee there? Let he who is without sin throw the first kick?” the Argentine pope wondered in his message.
“The scene hurt me. Everything hurt me. The young boy’s body hurt me, the heart of those kicking hurt me,” Francis added and called to "not forget" what happened.
By the end of March, David Moreira was attacked by a group of people in the city of Rosario in the province of Santa Fe that accused him of robbing a woman’s purse. David’s is one in a series of mob attack cases that spread across the country over the past weeks with people deciding to take justice into their hands claiming they were fed up with criminals.
The cases prompted strong condemnation from the federal government and many opposition sectors with President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner publicly and personally affirming that the one way to battle crime is social inclusion.