Archbishop Luis Augusto Castro of Tunja has strongly criticized the accusations of a retired military leader against the late Archbishop Isaias Duarte Cancino of Cali, Colombia, who was murdered in 2002.
Archbishop Duarte was gunned down on March 16, 2002, after celebrating Mass in the popular neighborhood of Cali, in Colombia.
Speaking on Colombian radio, Archbishop Castro said General Rito Alejo del Rio only wants to “divert attention away from the investigation he is currently undergoing and denigrate the name of someone who worked for peace in one of the most complex regions of Colombia.”
During the general’s trial for the murder of a rural leader, he argued that Archbishop Duarte was killed by the guerrillas because he accepted land from paramilitary groups. While the late archbishop “did receive some land from paramilitaries, with the permission of the government at that time,” he later “distributed the land to the displaced victims of Uraba,” Archbishop Castro clarified.
Archbishop Castro also pointed out that according to the investigation, “Archbishop Duarte was not killed by the guerrillas but by the drug cartels.”