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January 15, 1988     The Message
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January 15, 1988
 

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18 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana II January 15, 1988 Crisis of humanism II I i iii Archdiocese rights panel delayed by,lack of staff and money By LAURIE HANSEN NC News Service GUATEMALA CITY (NC) -- A "crisis of humanism" in Guatemala prompted the coun- try's hierarchy to plan for its first human rights commission, said a Guatemalan bishop, but a year after the panel was pro- posed, there is still no staff or financing. -"I think there is space for the commission in our current (Guatemalan} reality," said Auxiliary Bishop Juan Gerardi Conedera of Guatemala City. "The problem is when do we start ... and who will be the staff?." Finding personnel able and willing to be objective "within our polarized situation is quite difficult," said the bishop. The church announced in 1986 that the Archdiocese of Guatemala City would open a human rights commission to record and follow up on repoi'ts of atrocities. According to an unofficial count accepted by Guatemala's interior ministry, more than 700 people were killed in the country in the first half of 1987. Guatemala's government, with its first elected civilian president in more than 30 years, has been unable to bring an end to the killing that has made this nation of almost 8 million people one of the bloodiest in the hemisphere. Numbers of "disappearances" are down significantly since President Vinicio Cerezo was elected in 1986, but incidents of brutal violence in the city and countryside continue every day. Bishop Gerardi said the pro- posed commission should be modeled after human rights panels in E1 Salvador and Chile, countries which also have serious rights problems. "It must be a group that will promote and defend human rights, but also be very objec- tive," the bishop said. "It must defend human rights and criticize human rights violations whether committed by the right, the center or the left," he added. "We have in this society a crisis of humanism," the bishop said. "We're used to seeing people die; we're ac- customed to the kidnappings. Human values have deteriorated." HE SAID THE archdiocesan human rights commission "should worry about human rights violations for ethical reasons, not political reasons." "In Guatemala, we are always looking for a political intention for every killing. Peo- ple say: 'they must have killed him for something he did.' That approach dilutes respect for human life," he said. Violence will not be eliminated overnight, he said. "One has to eat an elephant in little bites," Bishop Gerardi said. Currently the sole human rights commission functioning in Guatemala is the Mutual Support Group, made up of friends and relatives of people killed or who disappeared dur- ing military rule between 1980 and 1986. Message Classifieds J()l] ()1'1'()1{ }NIIII!, POSITION AVAILABLE: BUSINESS ADMINISTRATOR for 5,000 member parish. Degree in Business Administration or equivalent experience. Expertise needed in finance, property management, per- sonnel supervision, public relations, planning. Send resume and salary re- quirements to Pastoral Team, St. Joseph Church, 1020 Kundek Street, Jasper, IN 47546 (812) 482-1805 by February 9. FEDERAL, STATE & CIVIL SER- VICE jobs $14,877 to $63,148/Year. Now Hirlngl CALL JOB LINE 1-518459-3611, Ext. F3717B for info 25 HRS. N()\\;q N,,\\;  OH, HOLY ST. JUDE , Apostle & Martyr, great In virtue, rich In miracles, near kinsman of Jesus Christ. Faithful Intercessor for all who invoke your special patronage In time of need. to you I have recourse from the depth of my heart & humbly beg to who God has given such great power to come to my assistance. Help me In my present & urgent petition. In return, I promise to make your name known & cause you to be invoked. Say three Our Fathers, three Hail Marys & three Glory Be's. Publication must be pro- mlsed. St. Jude, pray for us and for all who. invoke your aid. Amen. This Novena must be said for nine con- secutive days. Thank you St. Jude. M.F. OH, HOI'Y ST. JUDE , Apostle & Martyr, great in virtue, rich in miracles, near kinsman of Jesus Christ. Faithful intercessor for all who invoke your special patronage in time of need. to you I have recourse from the depth of my heart & humbly beg to who God has given such great power to come to my assistance. Help me in my present & urgent petition. In return, I promise to make your name known & cause you to be invoked. Say three Our Fathers, three Hail Marys & three Glory Be's. Publication must be pro- mised. St. Jude, pray for us and for all who Invoke your aid. Amen. This Novena must be e;dd for nine con- secutive days. Thank you St. Jude. C.H.B. The Message Classifieds Deadline: Nine days preceding the Friday date of issue (a Wednesday}. Rates: 15 per word, symbol, or abbreviation. No minimum number of words needed. Novenas: Cost of publication for Novenas is $15.00. Please include your initials. Payment: All ads must be paid for when placed by mail. NO ADS WILL BE TAKEN OVER THE PHONE; NO BILLS WILL BE SENT. Rejections: Ads that are illegible, lacking proper payment, or that fail to meet the advertising standards of the Message will not be published. In December 1986, Basilio Tuiz Ramirez, reportedly a member of the Mutual Support Group, was abducted in the Guatemalan province of Solola by men believed to be members of the army because of the weapons they carried. He re- mains missing, but the govern- ment has denied any involve- ment in his abduction, accor- ding to Amnesty International. From 1980 to 1986 the Guatemalan military's counterinsurgency campaign against rebels of the Guatemalan National Revolu- tionary Unity left 60,000 people either dead or missing. Another 50,000 refugees -- mostly In- dians from the highland region -- fled to Mexico. "There was repression by the army on a very massive scale," said Mark Dan Moriarty, Guatemalan representative for the U.S. bishops' Catholic Relief Services. A "counter- response" by the guerrillas was not on the same scale, he said. "Some say Guatemala has suffered the most violence of any nation in Central America," he said. In an attempt to deal with the political violence, after months of debate the Guatemalan Con- gress passed a law in November establishing a public attorney's office for human rights. The Cerezo government has not yet named a director for the office. Before Cerezo was elected, the military government declared an amnesty for all ar- my officers who committed Central American-peace plan 'deficient' By LAURIE HANSEN NC News Service GUATEMALA CITY (NC} -- The Central American peace plan is a "house of cards" like- ly to topple without U.S. and guerrilla support, said Aux- iliary Bishop Juan Gerardi Con- edera of Guatemala City, who belongs to a plan-mandated reconciliation commission. The bishop called the peace plan a "beacon of hope" because it has drawn interna- tional attention to the Central American plight. He said that the plan is defi- cient because it deals solely with proposals made by the governments of the five Central American nations, and that Central Americans are at the mercy of U.S: government policy in the region. The wars in Central America are "not really our wars -- the United States gives the money ... we just provide the dead and the backdrop against which they die," the bishop said. ""t'10008881,00 CLASSIFI 5 word Only 1 per ! (There will be a $3.00 minimum charge on all classified advertising) DS Print your ad on this form. One word, symbol, or abbreviation per blank. Phone number counts as one word. Clip and marl to our office with payment. No Phone orders; No billing. Copy deadline is nine days preceding the Friday date of issue (a Wednesday) 20 3.00 21 3.15 22 3.30 23 3.45 24 3.60 25 3.75 26 3.90 27 4.05 28 4.20 29 4.35 30 4.50 31 4.65 32 4.80 33 4.95 34 5.10 35 5.25 36 5.40 37 5.55 38 5.70 39 5.85 40 6.00 41 6.15 42 6.30 43 6.45 44 6.60 45 6.75 46 6.90 47 7.05 48 7.20 49 7.35 50 7.50 Cost of your ad is the dollar amount that appears below the final word ($3.00 minimum) NO PHONE ORDERS--NO BILLING The Message Classifieds 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. * P.O. Box 4169 Evansville, IN 47711 (812) 424-5536 I Bishop Gerardi is a somewhat reluctant member of the Guatemalan Reconciliation Commission, mandated by the peace pact, who believes the church can work best for peace in an independent, pastoral role. He made his comments during a meeting with U.S. diocesan social action directors participating in a November study tour of Central America. The plan was first proposed by Costa Rican President Oscar The Central American peace Arias at a meeting in Es- plan, signed Aug. 7 in quipulas, Guatemala. Guatemala City, outlined measures to take effect in each Central American country within 90 days. These included a general cease-fire, amnesty for guerrilla forces, internt,  democratization and prohil'-" tion on the use of one country's territory for aggression against another country. Auto7 Home! Fire & Life! Your Personal Service Agent James L. Will Ins. Agency Inc. 311 N. Wabash 425-3187 t" BRANDS FOR LESS. FAMOUS FURNITURE - CARPET- APPLIANCES HOME OUTFITTERS JASPER - LOOGOOTEE - WASHINGTON WE DELIVER ALL OVER SOUTHERN INDIANA human rights violations. "That amnesty is still in effect," said Moriarty, adding that there was no well-defined division be- tween the elected civilian government and t Guatemalan military. "No one really knows how much power is exercised by civilians and how much is exer- cised by the military," he said. The element of the Central America peace plan that called for the freeing of political prisoners was irrelevant in Guatemala, said David Dubon, an economist and editor of, jn- forpress, a Central AmeriCan news service. "In Guatemala we have no political prisoners; we have political deaths," he said.