Friday, June 3, 2011

Student killed in kidnapping near Adventist university

[Photo courtesy Inter-America Division / Adventist News Network]Source: Adventist News Network

A Montemorelos University student was shot and killed minutes away from the Northern Mexican school's campus in the evening hours of May 29, officials have confirmed.

The shooting -- possibly a case of mistaken identity, a city official said -- happened just hours after the Seventh-day Adventist institution celebrated its 68th graduation ceremony.

Yoselin L. Perez Ramirez, 20, a second-year communications major, died of gunshot wounds after an attempted kidnapping.

According to authorities, Perez was walking into a store at approximately 8:30 p.m. yesterday when she was approached and threatened. She ran away and later tracked down and shot. She was about to return to her home in Oaxaca for the summer, according to a statement made by Ismael Castillo, president of Montemorelos University.

"This is a very sad and unfortunate situation," Castillo said in an email to staff and faculty hours after the news broke out. "Our university community mourns the loss of our student. We cling to Jesus' promise in the Bible that 'I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.'"

Salvador SepĂșlveda Trejo, secretary of public security for the city of Montemorelos, said the investigation into the murder is ongoing. In recent months, the city has seen a rise of drug-related violence, with leaders of various "cartels" operating in the area and being arrested along with huge caches of weapons.

"Everything points to what could be a [case of] mistaken identity," Trejo said.

Perez, who lived on campus during the school year, was baptized during a week of prayer held at the university last November. University leaders are making arrangements with municipal and government officials to transport her body to her parents, who work at an Adventist school in the city of Santa Maria del Tule, Oaxaca, some 850 miles to the south.

A memorial service for Perez was held in the late afternoon of May 30 on the Montemorelos campus.

"We will always remember her for her good humor, bright smile and friendship, among her other fine qualities," Castillo said.

"We will always remember her for her good humor, bright smile and friendship, among her beautiful qualities," stated a press release issued by Montemorelos University.

"Amid the current violence that threatens our country, we are convinced that through education, our institution contributes not only to the intellectual development but promotes peace and harmony to families and society," the statement said.

--Benjamin Garcia contributed to this report



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