Recovering Historical Memory: a Future of Hope
Bishop Juan Gerardi
(martyr, champion of recovering Guatemala’s historical memory)
When I lived in River Forest, Illinois in the 1980’s, our parish played a small part in the sanctuary movement, providing support, shelter, and transportation to a Guatemalan family escaping the horrific military violence in their country. My Spanish was not that good, but
I will always remember their eyes.
Human Rights Abuses Investigated
Guatemalan military held responsible for over 175,000 deaths
Two years later, he presented the findings in a 1,400-page work, Guatemala: Never Again! It outlined four decades of
assassination, torture, and massacres, including the death of hundreds of lay catechists. (I’ve been a catechist a third of my life.) The conclusion of his report pointed to the Guatemalan military being responsible for almost 90 percent of 200,000 noncombatant deaths and disappearances.
“The construction of the Kingdom of God entails risks”
“We are collecting the people’s memories,” Bishop Gerardi reported, “because we want to contribute to the construction of a different country. This path was and continues to be full of risks, but the construction of the Kingdom of God entails risks, and only those who have the strength to confront these risks can be its builders.”
Speak Truth to Injustices
May I have the strength of good Bishop Juan to speak Truth to injustices, intolerances, racial jokes and atrocities. Opportunities, unfortunately, are plentiful.
to fear and silence. Truth is the primary word that makes it possible for us to break this cycle of death and violence and to open ourselves to a future of hope and light for all.”
#kidnapped #juangerardi #RecoveryOfHistoricalMemory #chrismanion #assasin #Guatemala