Wednesday, March 24, 2010

30 years ago: RIP Oscar Romero

3/24/2010 ** El Salvador's president, Mauricio Funes, apologized today on behalf of the Salvadoran state for the death of the archbishop of San Salvador, Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero, which occurred on March 24, 1980.

"In my capacity as President, I apologize on behalf of the Salvadoran state for this assassination committed 30 years ago. On behalf of the Salvadoran State I apologize to the family of Romero, and I extend my condolences," said Funes, ... in the corridor between gates 8 and 9 of the airport terminal, where he unveiled a mural commemorating the religious leader.

Responding to the words of Funes, Gaspar Romero, brother of the martyred archbishop, said: "I accept with humility, love and gratitude the apology, albeit 30 years later. "

At the end of the ceremony, during a conference with local media, Funes said of the ritual of reconciliation: "I apologized because the state failed to investigate, but it is not for me to investigate, that is up to the judges of the Republic" he clarified. Translated from La Prensa Grafica

Photo caption: In 2006 Billie Greenwood (left) and fellow travelers from Dubuque, IA listen to one of the sisters who knew Romero explain the events surrounding his death in the very chapel in which he was assassinated. Note his portrait on the wall in the right of the photo.


No expressions of condolences or remorse were expressed by the U.S. that I know of.

New details of the actual murder have recently emerged. Get the story in the newly-uploaded YouTube video:

"D'Aubuisson told me: take care of it"
D'Aubuisson is a graduate of the U.S. School of the Americas.

(Yes, that is the same chapel as you see in the photo on the top.)

"May God have mercy on the assassins." (Last words of Oscar Romero)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Miss Captive Beauty 2010 Crowned for International Day of Women

In what was likely one of the most unconventional celebrations of International Day of Women in the world, Cecelia Juarez, 22, currently incarcerated for drug trafficking, was crowned Miss Captive Beauty 2010 at a pageant for women inmates at Cereso prison in Juarez, Mexico on March 8. She gained the crown from a field of 15 inmates by unanimous decision of the panel of judges.

Milenio TV news coverage provides a glimpse of this unusual concept. The prison director explains that although the women are not imprisoned because they are bad but because they made a mistake and the possibility to learn from a mistake is always available. It's in Spanish, but you don't need to understand Spanish to be fascinated by this news story:

photo credit: Photos by Jesús Alcázar El Paso Times, for a slide show of the event: HERE