DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     July 24-26, 1998     vol. 9, no. 144

from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO


          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 involved.

Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

July 24-26, 1998       volume 9, no. 144


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