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Bishop Ramazzini Threatened in Guatemala

April 3, 2008

Monseñor Álvaro Leonel Ramazzini Imeri, bishop of the Diocese of San Marcos and president of the Guatemalan Bishop’s Conference, suffered a death threat on March 31, 2008. In the city of San Marcos, Guatemala, a nun from the bishop’s diocese was threatened by two unknown individuals who stopped her vehicle with the intent to send a death threat to Bishop Ramazzini.

This was not the first threat against Bishop Ramazzini. Furthermore, similar threats have recently occurred against other members of the diocese, which have been denounced in the media on several occasions.

Bishop Ramazzini has tirelessly worked on behalf of Guatemala’s poor and has challenged the powerful interests of international mining companies whose projects in San Marcos have evicted communities from their land, wreaked havoc on the environment, and ignored the wishes of the communities that are affected by mining.

The death threat against Bishop Ramazzini is particularly upsetting given the proximity to the tenth anniversary of the murder of Guatemalan Bishop Juan Gerardi. Bishop Gerardi was bludgeoned to death on April 26, 1998 in his home in Guatemala City just two days after the publication of the Recovery of Historical Memory (REHMI) project. The REHMI project, which was led by Bishop Gerardi, documented human rights violations committed during Guatemala’s 36-year civil war. Monseñor Ramazzini has carried on Bishop Gerardi’s memory by continuing to seek justice for the atrocities that occurred during the conflict.


[Information for this Urgent Action has been taken from the Ecumenical Program on Central America (EPICA) and Samuel Ruíz García, retired bishop of San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. We appreciate their contributions.]





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