Letter to Mexican Ambassador on Attacks Against Bishops, January 7, 1997
November 7, 1997
The Honorable Jesús F. Reyes Heroles
Ambassador of Mexico
1911 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006
Dear Mr. Ambassador,
The actions of certain violent organizations that have been operating with apparent impunity in the State of Chiapas, always to the detriment of the process for peace and reconciliation, have now struck their most vicious blow. In ambushing the convoy with the two bishops of the Diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas and others committed to the peace process, this shadowy group has attacked the peace process itself.
While your government, according to press reports, "energetically repudiates this aggression," most observers seem agreed that these are paramilitary groups with ties to the ruling party and thus with the government itself. More than verbal repudiation is called for if these enemies of peace and reconciliation are to be brought under control.
I urge you to communicate to your government the strong revulsion shared by many in this country at the reckless violence being perpetrated against those who work for a just and peaceful settlement of the conflict in Chiapas, most notably the mediator and Bishop of the Diocese of San Cristóbal, Don Samuel Ruíz García, and his Coadjutor Bishop, Don Raúl Vera López, O.P.
Hoping to hear of decided action on the part of the authorities, I remain
(Rev.) Drew Christiansen, S.J.
Director, USCC Office of International Justice and Peace