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Sunday, December 4, 2016
CAFOD priest shot in Guatemala
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¬†A Spanish Jesuit, and CAFOD partner, Fr Josť Miguel Clemente is seriously ill in hospital after he was shot in a roadside hold-up on Thursday, December 20 in rural Guatemala, the agency reported on Friday. Trying to protect himself from the attack, he drove through the blockade with his arm over his face, but was shot by the robbers at close range. Although he is still alive, the bullets have shattered his arm and destroyed his left eye. Fellow priest, Fr Jorge Sarsanedas, said that Thursdays are common for assaults in the area of Santa Maria Chiquimula because it is market day and people tend to be carrying more money. He said: "What happened to our brother is no more than part of the 'bad luck that affects everyone here who is forced to live with fear, insecurity and impunity." Sarah Smith Pearse, CAFOD's Latin America communications officer, said: "I know Josť Miguel - or Josťmi as he is known - a gentle, cultured man in his forties who wouldn't hurt a fly. The peacefulness of this man, and the courage and generosity of the indigenous communities with whom he works, contrast savagely with the daily reports of explosive social violence that plague Guatemala through muggings, car jacking and random murder." "Guatemala is today one of Latin America's most turbulent countries, with a history of civil war, entrenched poverty and weak governments. "CAFOD partners, including the parish of Santa Maria Chiquimula, are working to build a better future for Guatemala through peace-building, education and income-generation. "The problems are immense, and hope sometimes seems a futile dream, but in all of the darkness, it is important to bear witness to the courage of priests like Josemi and stand in solidarity with his parish at this difficult time."
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