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Archbishop death threats { April 30 1998 }

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Thursday, 30 April, 1998, 07:41 GMT 08:41 UK
'Death threats' against Guatemalan archbishop

The United Nations mission in Guatemala says the Roman Catholic Church has asked them to investigate apparent death threats against the Archbishop, Prospero Penados.
The reported threats come just days after the murder of a prominent human rights campaigner, Bishop Juan Gerardi.

Bishop Gerardi's death has shocked the country and thousands of mourners packed the cathederal in Guatemala City on Wednesday to attend his funeral.

The bishop was murdered on Sunday, two days after he presented the results of an investigation into human rights abuses committed during Guatemala's 36-year civil war.

Police say the motive for the attack is still unclear but the BBC's correspondent In Guatemala says that many of the his friends and colleagues believe he was killed for having criticised the government's wartime atrocities.

His report accused the Guatemalan army and police of having killed more than 100,000 unarmed civilians.

The report sought to challenge the terms of the 1996 peace accord signed by the government and left-wing rebels, which granted anonymity and a partial amnesty for war criminals on both sides.

The UN mission is overseeing the implementation of the peace accords.

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