FRI-SAT-SUN
February 11-13, 2000
volume 11, no. 30
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

GUATEMALA PRIEST RE-ARRESTED IN BISHOP MURDER

    GUATEMALA CITY (CWNews.com) - Prosecutors arrested Father Mario Orantes Najera on Wednesday as he returned from the US where he was receiving medical treatment, and he was charged with taking part in the 1998 murder of a bishop.

    Auxiliary Bishop Juan Gerardi Conedera was murdered at his home in April 1998, two days after releasing a report blaming most of the deaths in the country's 36-year civil war on the military. Father Orantes, who had lived with Bishop Gerardi, was arrested in July 1998 and released months later for lack of evidence. He was taken into custody in a Guatemala City hospital on an arrest warrant issued last month.

    A police spokesman said Father Orantes, who was in a Houston clinic when the warrant was issued, will be allowed to stay in the Guatemalan hospital under police guard.

    Last month, prosecutors arrested three military officers connected to an elite unit and the former housekeeper. The new arrests followed a pledge by new President Alfonso Portillo to investigate state security forces' alleged role in the bishop's murder. Human rights groups and religious leaders have persistently accused the military and said Father Orantes was a convenient scapegoat. Prosecutors have not yet made public what they believe is the link between the military suspects and the priest.

    Two previous prosecutors and two magistrates involved in the case have resigned from the investigation since the murder after they and their families received death threats.

          

February 11-13, 2000
volume 11, no. 30
NEWS & VIEWS

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