2 More Arrested in Murder of Colombian Archbishop

ROME, APRIL 14, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Two men have been arrested for the March 16 murder of Archbishop Isaías Duarte Cancino of Cali, Colombia, the Misna missionary agency reported.

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For the time being, they are only known by their nicknames “El Calvo” (“Bald One”) and “El Cortico” (“Short One”). According to investigators, the two were spotted by witnesses at the scene of the shooting death which took place outside a church.

John Jairo Maturana was arrested March 27 in relation to the crime. He is suspected of being the leader of a criminal gang that operates in the neighborhood where the shooting occurred.

Violence against Church figures has intensified since then. Colombian Father Juan Ramón Núñez was killed April 6 while distributing Communion in a church in La Argentina in the department of Huila. And dozens of priests have received death threats.

Archbishop Giraldo Jaramillo, president of the episcopal conference, said that it is “impossible to guarantee security to all the priests of the country who are threatened. It is not easy for each one to have someone by his side 24 hours a day who examines everyone who approaches him. The whole Church is threatened here.”

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