DAILY CATHOLIC     MONDAY     March 29, 1999     vol. 10, no. 61

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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GUATEMALA CONGRESS GRILLS DEFENSE HEAD ON BISHOP MURDER

          GUATEMALA CITY (CWNews.com) - Guatemala's defense minister was questioned before Congress on Thursday regarding the murder of a Catholic bishop last year who was killed after releasing a human rights report critical of the military.

          Defense Minister Gen. Hector Barrios was questioned by opposition party members regarding conflicting army statements on the murder of Auxiliary Bishop Juan Gerardi Conedera on April 26, 1998. The bishop was killed two days after releasing report that blamed the military and allied paramilitary groups for most of the deaths in the country's 36-year civil war that ended in 1995.

          Barrios told legislators that agents of the elite Presidential General Staff had appeared at the Guatemala City parish where Bishop Gerardi lived and his body was found. For months, military officers had denied their presence at the crime scene. But Barrios said he learned of the murder only after he received a telephone call the morning after.

          Church leaders and human rights groups have accused the military or paramilitaries of being involved in the murder, although a priest who lived with the bishop has been formally accused. Father Mario Orantes Najera, who remains an official suspect, has been released on bail while the investigation continues.


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 29, 1999       volume 10, no. 61
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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