DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     March 26-28, 1999     vol. 10, no. 60

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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JUDGE RESIGNS IN GUATEMALA BISHOP MURDER CASE

          GUATEMALA CITY (CWNews.com) - A Guatemalan judge presiding over the investigation into the murder of a Catholic bishop last year resigned on Wednesday, becoming the second judge in three months to remove himself from the case.

          Judge Henry Monroy said he had received threatening telephone calls, but did not specify what they said or who he believed made them. Bishop Juan Gerardi Conedera was bludgeoned to death outside his home last April, two days after releasing a human rights report that blamed the military and pro-government death squads for the majority of deaths in the country's recently-ended 36-year civil war.

          While investigators had focused on Father Mario Orantes Najera, who lived in the same rectory as the bishop, as the prime suspect, Catholic and human rights groups claimed the government was ignoring the obvious connection to the military or death squads. In February, Monroy ordered the released of Father Orantes. In January, the previous presiding judge, Jorge Figueroa Medina, resigned from the case after being accused of bias by Father Orantes' lawyers.

          Late Wednesday a UN observer mission in Guatemala issued a statement expressing concern at the reported threats. "The lack of support for the judge is an element which increases the perception that the organs of the state are inhibited in resolving this case," the UN mission said in a news release.


Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

March 26-28, 1999       volume 10, no. 60
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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