Pope Francis has sent his condolences over the murder of two priests in the Mexican state of Veracruz.

A letter from the Vatican says Rev. Alejo Nabor Jimenez and Rev. Alfredo Suarez de la Cruz are the "victims of inexcusable violence."

It was posted online early Wednesday by the Mexican Conference of Bishops and signed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state.

The priests were last seen Sunday in the city of Poza Rica. Their bullet-ridden bodies were discovered the following day on a roadside miles away.

State prosecutors say they believe the clerics knew their attackers and had been drinking with them. But some of their parishioners are skeptical. They say organized crime has plagued Poza Rica with killings and disappearances.