Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Priest killed in El Salvador

One day after I wrote about religious freedom in El Salvador, comes the news that a priest was brutally beaten and killed in El Salvador:

SAN SALVADOR, Sept 25 (Reuters) - The suspected murder of a Catholic priest, whose battered body was found on the side of an El Salvador highway on Monday, has mystified authorities in a country with a troubling history of killing religious figures.

The Rev. Ricardo Romero's body was found next to his car 42 miles (68 km) west of the capital of San Salvador, with his skull crushed. Police said initial investigations ruled out robbery or kidnapping as a motive.

An employee at the rectory in the Pipil Indian community of Santa Catarina Masahuat where Romero worked said the priest had no known enemies.

"We really do not know anything, just that they killed the Father and we are waiting for his remains to hold a wake," an employee said.

The human rights office for the Catholic Church in El Salvador said it would investigate the killing, one of many in a country where persistent violence claims an average of 10 lives daily.

The police have no motive for the crime. At this point the murder of the 39 year old Fr. Romero is yet another symbol of the wave of violence afflicting the country. Whether his murder is a symbol of something more sinister will require more evidence.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Even if the priest was now perfect nobody, nobody deserves to die like this. I say yes to capital punishment.

=EM

mike said...

Wouldn't that mean undermining everything this priest probably worked against his entire life?

Anonymous said...

I think that that Capital punishment would be great to teach these murderers, that they would be punish for taking innocent lives away for no reason. I also believe that in this country el salvador has been through rough times, now it is time to shape up or more like shake up those killers.

tony rochman said...

Skull crushed?? Sounds like someone was really, really, really mad at this priest and just wanted some straight out revenge. For all we know, maybe the priest molested someone's kid, and with the priest's luck, the kid's daddy turned out to be some crazy hombre that didn't appreciate his hijo being shown some hot and humid fatherly love. Of course, this is just a theory with the guy's skull completely demolished and all. May God forgive me for writing about what probably is absolute fact - three Hail Mary's for me and a confession Sunday - oh no, that's right, I almost forgot that I'm Jewish. So, if the priest really was up to some horrible misconduct such as I described, then he most certainly deserved the Holy Spirit knocked out of him. Think about it - if this was just a random act of violence, in some way gang related or even just an act typical of modern day society in El Salvador, then why the crushed skull??? I know the police are thinking some of what I'm writing but in a culture that is totally Catholic and looks up to their clergy, perhaps it's better to sweep the possible truth behind this murder under the rug, not hint that a realistic possibility for the priest's death might be the above mentioned scenario and just chalk it all up to daily averages.

Anonymous said...

Tony, I believe you should either look further into Salvadoran history or not comment...

Jesus, El Salvador has history of assassinating, raping, kidnapping, clergy who have talked against the government, or assisted the poor and needy in their search for betterness.

http://www.ncccusa.org/news/051202Martyrs.html
http://www.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/martyrs-icon.html
http://www.zmag.org/chomsky/sam/sam-2-02.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rutilio_Grande
http://www.diariocolatino.com/nacionales/detalles.asp?NewsID=13978

You know, if you believe having a priest crushed his head with a stone, then trust me you are in the minor leauges when it comes to violence in El Salvador, where military have decapitated women and children, raped women, tortured men, castrate people, humiliate them, disappear them, etc (and this legacy continues living in the gangs, of which many former soldiers, national guard, death squads are members of)... More than 30,000 people killed. All for the only reason of wanting an accountable government that were responsible with the majority.


This priest you are talking about, was MOVED from the Sonsonate Cathedral to a church because of his beliefs, for talking about the truths of the government, which I can assume your Jewish-ass couldn't care less, is a government made by the mafia of the country, by the same death squads-death squad sponsors that brutalized more than 30,000 people, and keep on brutalizing the country by not giving us security, employment, health. One single smash to the face, in my opinion is short of execution. I do believe, that the Death Squads are back, and Romero is just the same tyoe of clergy they are accostumed of killing: priests that talk in favor of the poor.

POLYCARPIO said...

There was an article in LA PRENSA GRAFICA the other day about how the gangs have been trying to blackmail Catholic priests and Evangelical ministers. I received an email from a trusted source wherein a very well known Catholic priest was saying that the shakedown problem is nearly out of hand, and that the clergy are being terrorized by these thugs. It's a grim twist in this never ending tragedy called El Salvador.

tony rochman said...

Your eloquent comments in their entirety have most certainly proven my point. This priest was killed for a very good reason and the statement in the original posting which claims that he was killed with no apparent motive not only insults everyone's intelligence but does not in apply in any manner. Secondly, for. Mr. Scared out his mind 'Anonymous' (notice how I entered my real first and last name), where do I begin... first off, as everyone can see, you are no where near my writing skill level. Secondly, you should be a man and just reveal your name - don't be such a chicken shit. No excuses please - there is no defense for such wicked, shivering fear that you evidently have (that's ev-id-ent-ly; four syllables). Take a class. Stating my religion within my blog was a form of comic relief within a serious commentary which was meant not to lighten the topic but to simply entertain the readers of the blog and to basically point out how brilliant my style is. Your writing bores people, displays inexcusable discrimination, and shows how incredibly terrified you are to do the simplest chore such as just stating your name. Why should anyone give a damn about a hateful biggot like yourself that hates members of any ethnicity and writes on a second grade level? Be a man and do the right thing. If you insist on pathetically refraining from simply saying who you are (by the way, I'm T-O-N-Y R-O-C-H-M-A-N, a real man), then do the next best thing and apologize for your obnoxious 'Jew' comment. My guess is people like you don't change and you'll prefer to wallow in your meaningless stand than redeem yourself. Lastly, for all the bloggers out there, don't be so pessimistic about this poor place. El Salvador actually can be a very lovely haven and not as horrible as you make it out to be (listing sites referring me to the country's blooy past). Give me a break; try listing referrals to places like Costa Del Sol and El Cuco. Every country and person has a past - let's try to look forward.

Anonymous said...

Now, now…. don’t go all Nazi on me stating how superior and above me you are. You obviously are full of yourself as your post has made it clear. There is no need of being a pompous exhibitionist.

You know, I’m not sure whether I should laugh at you or feel pity for your paranoia and your attempt to brand me as some anti-ethnic, anti-Semitic man-eating dragon (or in my case, self-hating, because I’m VERY “ethnic”). I am NOT out to get you, frankly I could care less about you, so calm down before you hyperventilate. What I did simply was point at your statement of you being a Jew (or claiming that you are one), and that as one you could careless about El Salvador’s society, after you took a pot shot at El Salvador’s main faith and undermine the severity of the Priest situation with your so-called attempt at humor… pathetic as it was.

On regards with me choosing to remain anonymous, it is my liberty to do so, and share any information I want. And frankly, I do not believe the internet is a proper forum to reveal as much of your personal information as possible. I select prudence therefore I post anonymously, if this irks you it is exclusively your problem. By the way get this into your head; I’ve committed no crime so I am in need of no redemption.

About the Priest, yes you are damn right that he was killed for a reason: his beliefs, to be silenced. Or as polycarpio pointed out, he could’ve been another victim of the RAMPANT crime rate of the country, but this in my opinion would entail the question why was the Priest killed by a single smash to his face with a “boulder”, instead of being brutalized with a knife or a bullet. Why aren’t there any signs of wanting to make the Priest suffer, seeing how his death was quick (according to reports), or there are no signs of attempted robbery?

Truth of the matter is, that in this country people who oppose the government are still prosecuted and demonized by the right-wing controlled mass media. If this priest was removed from his initial post from the Sonsonate Cathedral for talking in favor of the poor, perhaps even liberation theology-esque, why is it so hard to consider that he was another victim of discrimination that members of the opposition suffer? This country may not be in a full blown war, but this urban warfare we are experiencing is part of the legacy of the war, and ill administration of the country by the governmental mafia. And this mafia remains as intolerant towards the opposition as usual. The gangs themselves, as I previously mentioned, are made up by Civil War ex-combatants, their violent training in the war is what aided them in becoming one of the most brutal gangs of Latin America. It is this kind of impunity, and the escalating crime rate that have made El Salvador as one of the most violent, and corrupt places of Latin America. We may not be in war, but our murder rate is indeed a very worrying one and one of the highest in the continent. So please, don’t come and tell me I’m pessimistic, because what I am being is realistic. El Salvador is very violent, and people are growing more and more discontent with the government. Hungry people, jobless people, insecure people, homeless people, abandoned people, the same group that has lasted in the country for years before, during and after the war. We may be in the “future”, but not looking back and seeing that we haven’t learned from our past is tactless and criminal. What use do I have talking about El Pital, Coatepeque, etc., when I as a native from this country and capital are more concerned with the day to day life of our country, not the tourist attractions? You can say I am even doing a public service by warning potential tourists to be careful when they travel here.

Either way, I’m done. Go ahead and answer back further stating how supreme you are for all I care…

Holtster said...

tony u have a few points, but ur ego and degradation of this anonymous character make ur writing unbearable.

tony rochman said...
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tony rochman said...

One more thing ... where's El Pital?? Seriously, give me directions - it's sounds great.

Holtster said...
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Holtster said...
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tony rochman said...
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Holtster said...
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carlsbadbarbie said...
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Anonymous said...

"i spit on those cockroaches..."
hahahahahahahahaha

tony rochman said...
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tony rochman said...
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Tim said...

Cut out the personal attacks; cut out the profanity; debate the issues not the person, please.

tony rochman said...

That's exactly what I said, Tim. Stick to the issues. Unfortunately Tim, due to your censorship, no one will see that. What you've done by deleting these blogs, the government of El Salvador in their history has never come close to such deprivation of liberty. That's right - I'd rather be murdered in cold blood than have someone decide that my words are offensive. If there is no immediate threat to anyone's safety, than sticks and stones, Mr. Tim. And if you're going to personally decide to restrain and prohibit my rights and the rights of others to speak their mind, at least be consistent with your censorship and delete the previous posts authored by 'Anonymous' which also consisted of personal attacks in which I was called a Nazi. Or do you take sides in your censorship? I will never again visit your El Salvador blog in my lifetime. It's beneath me and beneath everyone that cares about freedom. Your actions of censorship were worse than all the curse words and all the nasty commentaries put together times ten. Post a rule that blogs must be solely and strictly about the main initial comment because your 'make up rules as we go' censorship is disgusting and the worst thing anyone could have done. Good riddens. Please delete all my blogs that I have ever posted on your site. What a waste of time.

Holtster said...

Tim, you do a fine job. Since you have read Tony's posts (and our retorts), you understand where these words of bitterness come from.

Continue doing your fine, FREE, work here on this site.

I will be visiting El Salvador soon, and all of this information is very useful. Thank you.

voip word said...

nice site
http://www.voip-world.us/

Anonymous said...

Your a liar tim.

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