San Salvador (Agenzia Fides) - "The death of the Jesuit martyrs and laywomen encourages us to work tirelessly to change the course of history and the country", said Fr. Andreu Olivo, Rector of the "José Simeón Cañas" Centramerican University (UCA), on the occasion of the commemoration of the 28 years of the assassination of the six Jesuit priests and the two lay collaborators at the hands of the Salvadoran army on November 16 1989. Also the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, who will be in El Salvador to discuss the progress and challenges that the country faces with authorities and humanitarian organizations, will participate during the commemoration.
According to information sent to Agenzia Fides, on the occasion of the commemoration the URC's Rector, Fr. Andreu Olivo said: "We live in an increasingly difficult world, especially for the poor, a world that seems to harden the hearts of many people, especially those who have the leadership of many countries.
We need a lot of strength, courage and unity to continue this work".
The Rector explained that difficult moments are being experienced at a social, economic and political level, so there are many reasons why the population may fall into despair, but we must instead take advantage of these testimonies to work tirelessly to change the course of history and the country. In fact, for Fr. Olivo the death of the Jesuit martyrs and their two collaborators, had a great impact on his life when he was still a novice, making him decide to devote himself fully to the work of those who are less protected.
"We must work to defend life - continues Fr. Olivo – in order to resolve the serious human and Christian problems that afflict our society, such as violence, exclusion, migration, unjust injustices, lack of work and values ... if we continue to work for all this, then we will gather the testimony of our martyrs and allow them to enlighten our lives, our work, and our struggles", the Jesuit said, demanding to take on the legacy of the martyrs, letting their testimony yield abundant fruit.
On November 16, 1989, six Jesuits and two women were killed: fathers Ignacio Ellacuría (Rector), Segundo Montes (Superior of the community), Ignacio Martín-Baró (Vice Rector), Amando López (Professor), Juan Ramon Moreno (Professor) and Joaquin Lopez (National Director of "Fe y Alegria"). The two assassinated women were the cook Julia Elba and her daughter Celina Ramos. The six Jesuits were engaged in formation and education, especially with regards to the poorest, in defending the weaker sector of society, in claiming human rights, in welcoming refugees.
The massacre raised a wave of indignation all over the world and pressures increased from the international community to ask the government and guerrillas to begin dialogue and end the armed conflict in the country. Currently the crime continues to go unpunished, the 20 Salvadoran soldiers involved have not been taken to trial in El Salvador, some have died and others are facing the trial in Spain. (LG) (Agenzia Fides, 15/11/2017)