Letter of Central American Bishops to President Bush

Year Published
  • 2011
  • English
San Salvador
March 22, 2002

The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States

Dear Mr. President,

We are pleased to greet you on the occasion of your visit to El Salvador. We see in your presence here in this country a sign of hope for the impoverished majorities of Central America.

We are bishops of the Catholic Church, members of the Presidency of the Episcopal Secretariat of Central America (SEDAC), the organization which gathers together all the bishops of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.

While meeting in El Salvador on matters related to our pastoral work, we have been struck by how constantly the number of poor people is increasing, requiring so many of our brothers and sisters to seek a better future abroad, and mainly in the United States. We firmly believe that this intolerable situation must be addressed courageously and generously.

We are convinced that only if bold measures to promote true human development are taken, can the phenomenon of forced emigration find a lasting solution. At the same time, we note that in the present economic system, money and goods may move freely, while such rights are denied to people, resulting in a serious violation of human rights.

As you know, Mr. President, the people of Central America, having overcome bloody internal wars and other forms of violence, are striving to gain better living conditions. Whatever is done to support these very just desires strengthens democracy and effectively guards against the plague of terrorism.

In view of the above, and appealing to your sense of humanity, we respectfully offer to you the following requests:

  1. That you firmly support the efforts of the Central American countries in their struggle against poverty.
  2. That you maintain a posture of greater solidarity with the Central American immigrants and offer them a preferential treatment.
  3. That you offer more facilities to the illegal immigrants so that they might regularize their situation.
Grateful for the attention you may give to these concerns, we express our prayerful best wishes for your personal well being.

Sincerely yours,

Cardinal Miguel Obando Bravo
Archbishop of Managua
President, Episcopal Conference
of Nicaragua

Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez
Archbishop of Tegucigalpa
President, Episcopal Conference of Honduras

Archbishop Román Arrieta Villalobos
Archbishop of San José
President, Episcopal Conference
of Costa Rica

Archbishop Fernando Sáenz Lacalle
Archbishop of San Salvador
President, Episcopal Conference of El Salvador

Archbishop José Dimas Cedeño
Archbishop of Panamá

Bishop Alvaro Leonel Ramazzini Imeri
Bishop of San Marcos
President,. SEDAC

Bishop Gregorio Rosa Chávez
Auxiliary Bishop of San Salvador
Secretarym SEDAC

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