DAILY CATHOLIC FRI-SAT-SUN July 24-26, 1998 vol. 9, no. 144
NEWS & VIEWS
PRIEST, COOK ARRESTED IN GUATEMALA BISHOP MURDER
GUATEMALA CITY (CWNews.com) - Guatemalan authorities on Wednesday arrested a priest and a cook in connection with the murder of Auxiliary Bishop Juan Joseph Gerardi in April.
Father Mario Leonel Orantes Najera and Margarita Lopez were arrested at the San Sebastian church where they worked with the bishop. Bishop Gerardi was found dead on April 26 in the garage of the church rectory, having been beaten to death with a cement block. Father Orantes was brought before investigating judge Isaias Figueroa Medina on Wednesday for questioning, but officials did not release any evidence that led to the arrests.
Human rights leaders have blamed Bishop Gerardi's death on
participants in the country's 36-year civil war for a
report on human rights abuses the bishop released just two
days before. The spokesman for Guatemala's conference of
bishops, Archbishop Victor Hugo Martinez, expressed
surprise at the arrest but said he wanted to hear evidence
before commenting. The only man previously arrested in the
case was Carlos Enrique Vielman, 24. His attorney, Mario
Alfonso Menchu, insisted that Vielman was innocent and
raised the suggestion that Father Orantes might have been
Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
NEWS & VIEWS