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Vigil to commemorate Guatemalan Bishop
Please join us, the Project Accompaniment Committee of Ottawa (PACO), on
Sunday, April 25th, at 1 p.m. in front of the Human Rights Monument on Elgin
St. (at Lisgar) for a vigil commemorating the memory of Bishop Gerardi of
BISHOP JUAN GERARDI was assassinated in Guatemala City on April 26,
1998. Just two days before, the Catholic church had released a powerful
report on human rights violations committed during 36 years of
civil war, entitled Guatemala: Never Again. The report fingers the
military as being responsible for the vast majority of the human rights
abuses. The Archbishop's Human Rights Office (ODHA), which had
been led by Bishop Gerardi, conducted the research and issued the report.
At the time of the report's presentation Bishop Gerardi said, " Peace is
possible -- a peace that is born from the truth that comes from each one
of us and from all of us."
One year later, his murder case remain unresolved. There has been
little or no progress in the murder investigation and an apparent
unwillingness on the part of the legal authorities to take seriously
reports implicating military officers in the killing.
The case of the murder of Bishop Juan Gerardi has become a key litmus
test of whether or not Guatemala will move towards an era of respect for
human rights and authentic democracy. In order for this to happen, impunity
the lack of application of the law for human rights violators must finally
come to an end.
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