March 11, 1997
- Based on the testimony of our brother, the Coadjutor Bishop of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Bishop Raúl Vera, OP, we have become aware that our brother priests Jeronimo Hernández, SJ and José Luis Gonzalo Rosas, SJ, and the campesinos Ramón Parcero and Francisco González were arrested on Saturday, March 8 at 2:15 pm in Palenque, Chiapas, and from the time of their detention to their being remanded, their basic rights and their physical integrity were violated, and the constitutional laws and legal procedures were transgressed by authorities of the state.
- Based on the same testimony of our brother bishop, we state that our brother priests had nothing to do with what they are accused of and are therefore innocent. We call for their immediate release, and the restoration of their good name and honor in the community and in the society. We call similarly for the release of Ramón Parcero and Francisco González who were held solely because they were with the priests at the time of their arrest.
- We condemn every form of violence in Chiapas and throughout the country, conscious that it leads nowhere but rather weakens even further our social compact and the possibility of our growing together. We need today more than ever to decide once and for all to construct an authentic state of law in Mexico, grounded in the recognition of the human dignity and the human rights of all and the effective respect for individual guarantees.
- We join in solidarity with our brother bishops of San Cristóbal and with their diocese, aware that they have made a clear option for a peace and reconciliation that is based in the dignity and the human rights of all the people of Chiapas, especially the poorest.
Signed by Archbishop Sergio Obeso Rivera, President, Bishop Ramón Godínez Flores, General Secretary, and all 18 other officers and members of the Permanent Council of CEM