DAILY CATHOLIC    Monday     May 4, 1998     vol. 9, no. 86

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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          GUATEMALA CITY (CWNews.com) - Guatemalan police have arrested a man suspected of killing Auxiliary Bishop Juan Gerardi Conedra last Sunday, the Interior Ministry announced on Thursday.

          Interior Minister Rodolfo Mendoza said Carlos Enrique Vielman, 24, is the prime suspect in the murder of Bishop Gerardi by crushing his head with a cement block. The bishop was killed just two days after releasing a report critical of the Guatemalan army, saying it had committed numerous human rights atrocities during the country's 36-year civil war. His death was followed by four days of protest by outraged Guatemalans.

          Mendoza carefully avoided speculating on whether the murder was part of a conspiracy to silence the bishop, but noted Vielman's criminal record which includes arrests for rape, battery, and public drunkenness. Two witnesses picked Vielman's photograph out of police archives, Mendoza said. One witness was a church worker from the downtown Guatemala City parish where Bishop Gerardi lived, and where he was killed as he got out of his car in his garage. The other witness was a man who slept in the park across the street from the parish.

May 4, 1998       volume 9, no. 86


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