Father Henry López of the city of Villavicencio became the second priest to be murdered in less than 24 hours in Columbia. A parish employee found the priest’s body, which was tied up and decapitated, in the parish rectory.
According the police information obtained by Columbia’s National Radio Network, the corpse of Fr. López was discovered when the parish employee arrived for work in the morning. Reports also said the priest was found seated in a chair with his hands died and his mouth gagged. The crime appeared to have occurred Tuesday night but so far police do not have motive or a suspect.
Meanwhile the community of Saravena, Columbia, gathered in the Church of Christ The King to pay their last respects to Fr. Saulo Carreño, was murdered earlier on Tuesday.
Hundreds of parishioners held a vigil before the remains of their pastor, and church bells were rung every hour as a sign of mourning. Bishop Carlos Meza of Arauca, together with 30 priests from the area, traveled to the city to participate in the vigil.
The body of Fr. Carreño was later taken to Bogotá where the funeral and burial will take place.
Civil and Church authorities have stated Fr. Carreño never denounced the threats against his life.
Police Chief Luis Alcides Morales said initial investigations indicated the murder “took place by order of the dark forces of the guerrilla.” He also said a reward has been offered for information leading the capture of the perpetrators.
European parliament supports embryonic stem-cells research
After rejecting amendments proposed by the EU Executive Committee, this week the Industry Committee of the European Parliament approved a budget that would set aside more than 2 billion dollars for embryonic stem cell research.
If passed by the full body on November 11, the budget would have to get final approval from each member of the European Council, where various countries have expressed their rejection of the use of stem-cells.
The ban on the use of embryonic stem-cells was enacted last July when the European Commission presented new norms for the financing of this type of research. However, although EU legislators assured they would give “priority” to research which used adult stem-cells, they rejected the suggestions of the Commission, which included the stipulation that on embryos conceived before June 27, 2002, could be used to produce stem-cells.
Stem-cells have the ability to transform themselves into other types of cells, including cells that make up the brain, heart, bones, muscles and skin.
Researches usually obtain these cells from embryos that are discarded during the process of in-vitro fertilization or that are created specifically for this purpose. However, scientific study has shown that these same cells can be obtained from the umbilical cord, the placenta and bone marrow, without having to create or destroy embryos.