February 7, 2005
His Eminence, Rodolfo Cardinal Quezada Toruρo
Archbishop of Guatemala
President, Episcopal Conference of Guatemala
Apartado Postal 1698
01901 Guatemala City
FAX: (011)(502) 2433-1834
As President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, I send you fraternal greetings.
I write, Your Eminence, to express our concern about the safety and well-being of Bishop Αlvaro Ramazzini of San Marcos in the light of recent reports of his being the object of death threats against him. While it is reassuring to know that the President of the Republic, Lic. Σscar Berger Perdomo, has offered special security for Bishop Ramazzini, it is nevertheless deeply troubling that a bishop as well known and respected as he should be subjected to such threats.
Many bishop members of our Conference know Bishop Ramazzini well and have visited with him both in Guatemala and here in the United States. He is very highly regarded for his strong defense of the rights of all people, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. As president of the Episcopal Conferences Commission for the Land Pastoral, Bishop Ramazzini has stood in solidarity with the countrys campesinos, including those whose basic rights and livelihood may be endangered because of actions of mining companies that do not take fully into account the human and environmental costs of their actions.
I would be grateful, Your Eminence, if you would communicate our concerns to Bishop Ramazzini and to any others you deem appropriate.
With assurances of our prayerful solidarity with you and the entire Church in Guatemala, I remain
Fraternally yours in the Lord,
Most Reverend William S. Skylstad
Bishop of Spokane