Chiapas Bishop Asks Recognition of Indians´ Dignity

MEXICO CITY, DEC. 15, 2000 (ZENIT.org).-

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A bishop from the troubled Chiapas region appealed for the recognition of Indians´ rights, and an end to racism and the «nightmare» of insecurity and violence promoted by armed groups.

Speaking in the basilica of Guadalupe on Thursday, Bishop Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, who presided over a Mass, appealed to Mexican lawmakers to «make the necessary changes in the laws so that the Indians´ right to be different but equal to all other Mexicans in dignity, is recognized.»

Among those attending the Mass were 275 Indians, including Choles, Tzotziles and Tojolabales, who came to the basilica on Jubilee pilgrimage from Acteal in the south.

During the homily, Bishop Arizmendi of San Cristóbal de las Casas made many references to the apparitions of the Virgin of Guadalupe, to her maternal words, and consolation for miseries and sorrows, and he invoked Our Lady of Tepeyac, to look upon her children, «the littlest ones,» with compassion.

Dec. 22 will be the third anniversary of the massacre of 45 Indians who were killed by paramilitaries while they were praying and fasting for peace in Acteal. «All racism is contrary to God´s plan, because he made us different but equal in all that is fundamental,» Bishop Arizmendi explained.

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