DAILY CATHOLIC     TUESDAY     October 20, 1998     vol. 9, no. 205

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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

UN OFFICIAL SLAMS GUATEMALA INVESTIGATION OF BISHOP MURDER

          GUATEMALA CITY (CWNews.com) - The chief UN representative in Guatemala said on Friday that investigators had not given sufficient credence to allegations that a Catholic bishop had been the victim of political assassination.

          "Given the history of Guatemala, the perception that this is a political crime is justified. That hypothesis is totally reasonable. We know there are groups in Guatemala that are capable of giving a common appearance to a political crime," said Jean Arnault, chief of the UN Verification Mission in Guatemala.

          Auxiliary Bishop Juan Gerardi Conedera, head of the human rights office of the Archdiocese of Guatemala city, was murdered at his home in April, just two days after releasing a human rights report that blamed pro-government forces for most of the deaths during the country's 36-year civil war. Government prosecutors have charged Father Mario Orantes, who lived in the same rectory as the bishop, with the murder.

          "The case continues as a thick cloud over the state of justice in Guatemala. ... We feel the investigation has not shown the necessary vigor or transparency," said Arnault, who helped the government and rebels negotiate 1996 peace accords that brought the civil war to an end. Human rights and Catholic groups have said the government has not sufficiently investigated leads that the military was involved with the crime.


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October 20, 1998       volume 9, no. 205
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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