July 12, 1995
The Honorable Jesús Silva Herzog
Ambassador of Mexico
1911 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005
Dear Mr. Ambassador,
It has now been almost three weeks since Father Loren Riebe, pastor of the Catholic parish of Santiago Apóstol in Yajalón, Chiapas, was abruptly and forcibly removed by Federal authorities and expelled from Mexico. In our view, this arrest and expulsion of a dedicated priest who had devoted over twenty years of his ministry to the people of Chiapas, was thoroughly unwarranted.
We do not question the right of the Mexican Government to admit or expel whomever it chooses; we do question the wisdom and the fairness involved in expelling Father Riebe.
A delegation of this Episcopal Conference, headed by Bishop Ricardo Ramírez of Las Cruces, visited the diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas at the beginning of this month. They spent a day in Yajalón and spoke with a number of people acquainted with Father Riebe. Staff members of our Conference who accompanied Bishop Ramírez are familiar with the situation.
We had hoped that this unfortunate matter would by now have found a better resolution. Since that appears not to have been the case, I am writing to request that representatives of our Conference have the opportunity of meeting with you in the very near future to explore the steps needed for Father Riebe's return to Mexico.
In anticipation of your reply, and with expressions of good will, I am
Most Reverend Daniel P. Reilly
Bishop of Worcester
Chairman, USCC Committee on International Policy