By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR, August 6, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The President of the Ecuadorian Episcopal Conference and the leader of the nation’s Human Life International affiliate are receiving death threats due to their opposition to pro-abortion and anti-family language in the nation’s proposed new constitution.
“I believe that the threats are part of an unfortunate way of doing politics in the country, threats of various kinds. I can’t deny that they are always fearful,” said Antonio Arregui Yarza, Archbishop of Guayaquil.
“One isn’t accustomed (to this) when one has a peaceful vision of the world, but it is painful to confirm the aggressiveness of some people who anonymously dedicate themselves to intimidation,” he added.
Amparo Medina, president of Ecuador’s Pro-Life Action Foundation, says that she has received a dead rat inside of a shoebox with the message “DEATH TO PRO-LIFERS” as well as a longer letter placed at her door threatening to kill her.
The author of the letter, writing under the pseudonym “Commando Salvador Allende”, proclaims himself in favor of “21st Century Socialism” and says that “we will no longer permit agents of the extreme right, like you, to block our route” (see inset image of letter).
“Remember that accidents exist,” the letter continues, “remember that accidental deaths happen daily in our country. DO NOT CONTINUE YOUR ANTI-WOMAN AND HOMOPHOBIC CAMPAIGN…death to traitors, death to those who oppose the nation, DEATH OR REVOLUTION.”
The anonymous death threats follow harsh denunciatory language on the part of the president and ruling party in Ecuador against clerics who criticize the proposed constitution for attacking the right to life and the natural family, and for moving the nation towards a totalitarian system of government (see LifeSiteNews coverage at https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/aug/08080610.html).
“The Church is meddling in political matters, like saying that the Constitution is statist,” said Correa on August 2. He also said that “the Church can’t do what it’s doing.”
In addition to attacks on clerics, Correa has reportedly launched personal attacks against Rosanna Queirolo and Diana Acosta, two representatives at the recent Constituent Assembly that drafted the new constitution. Both have denounced the document, which in the words of Acosta is “abortionist.”
“What is happening in the country is alarming. There is a frontal and disgusting attack on the part of the President of the Republic against the Church,” Queirolo told LifeSiteNews.
“The Saturday before last he told the people who go to Church to rise up and call the priests liars, that the Constitution is not abortionist, etc.”
A large number of Ecuadorian organizations have signed an open letter supporting the bishops despite the attacks made against them, including Human Life International’s affiliate Pro-Life Action, the Ecuadorian Women’s Front, University Parliamentarians for Life, Family, and Liberty, and many others.
“Our pastors, bishops, and priests, who have been verbally attacked, are doing a formidable evangelizing work, which seeks to illuminate the consciences of all Christians,” the letter states.
“President, your government was inaugurated with a Eucharistic Celebration because you, like the vast majority of Ecuadorians, are sons of the Catholic Church,” the letter continues. It also states that the “liberty of expression, the liberty of worship, the liberty to educate our children in the Faith is accompanied by the voice of our pastors.”
“To silence the voice of the Church is to silence the voice of the people, is to silence the voice of God”, the letter adds.
President of Ecuador Rafael Correa (he speaks English): [email protected]
Embassy of Ecuador in Washington
2535 15th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
Tel: (202) 234-7200
Fax: (202) 667-3482
Email: [email protected]
Embassy of Ecuador in Canada
50 O’ Connor Street, Oficina 316
Ottawa K1P 6L2, Ontario, Canada
Tel (613) 563 8206
(613) 563 4286
Fax (613) 235 5776
Email : [email protected]
Embassies of Ecuador in other countries:
Related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
New Ecuadorian Constitution Endangered by Pro-Abortion, Anti-Family Language
Ecuador’s Proposed Constitution Would “Establish Penalties” for Groups that “Promote Homophobia”
Famous Model and TV Announcer Wins Battle to Protect Life and Family Values in Ecuadoran Constitution
Ecuador’s President and Ruling Party to Seeks to Exclude Mention of God in New Constitution
Ecuadorans Battle Over Abortion in their New Constitution