Salvador Strikers' Occupation of Cathedral Roils Bishop

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador, JAN. 10, 2003 ( Auxiliary Bishop Gregorio Rosa Chávez of San Salvador appealed to a group of hooded strikers to vacate the city’s cathedral.

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«The occupation is not justified,» the bishop stated today.

Some 20 people, their faces covered with ski masks, have occupied the cathedral as a way of demanding a solution to the strike of doctors of the Salvadoran Institute of Social Insurance. The strike began Sept. 19, following the announcement of the institute’s privatization.

Two devices were exploded near the church during the protests, the press reported.

When occupying the cathedral, labor unionists requested contact with Bishop Rosa Chávez and with Beatrice de Carrillo, attorney for the defense of human rights. The bishop said the Holy See is following the incident closely.

A survey by El Diario de Hoy showed that the vast majority of Salvadorans oppose the cathedral’s profanation.

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