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Letter of Solidarity


February 4, 2005 

Most Reverend Álvaro Leonel Ramazzini Imeri
Bishop of San Marcos
9a Avenida 10-36 Zona 4
San Marcos
FAX: (011)(502) 760-2528 

Dear Bishop Ramazzini, 

I write to express the solidarity of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops with you and with those other pastoral workers in Guatemala who have been subjected in recent weeks to threats and other attacks by unknown parties. 

We are painfully aware of the direct threats against your person, chiefly because of your forthright defense of poor farmers in your diocese of San Marcos who have protested certain actions of international mining companies. We are aware also of hostile acts against pastoral agents working with migrants, including reported death threats against several of them. 

As we approach the penitential season of Lent, I wish to assure you that the suffering that you and many others in Guatemala experience today will find a prominent place in our prayers and sacrifices during this holy time. 

In the words of your Conference's Global Plan 2001-2006, Al Encuentro con Jesucristo Vivo, "May the Blessed Virgin Mary, image of the Church and model of the disciple, support you with her intercession and guide you with the testimony of her life." 

Fraternally yours in Christ,  

Most Reverend John H. Ricard, SSJ
Bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee
Chairman Committee on International Policy 

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