By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

FLORIDA, April 18, 2008 ( – Guatemalans are “dumbfounded” and angered to learn about the international “culture of death” and its multi-pronged attack on human life, according to Human Life International, which participated in a pro-life conference in the country from April 3rd to April 5.

The conference, entitled, “Life and the Dignity of the Human Person,” was organized by the Guatemalan Bishops’ Conference, in cooperation with HLI and several local pro-life organizations.  About ten bishops attended in all, including the apostolic nuncio, and approximately 250 seminarians.

According to Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, the conference attendees were taken aback by what they were told about the international agenda of pro-abortion groups. 

“There are two reactions,” he told “One is depression, to understand exactly what’s going in their country, that they didn’t know about until this point, and the second one is I think a healthy anger that motivates them to try to do something about it, because it is so bad, and they now see it, after we present it to them in all of its truth.

The conference was well-covered by both the secular and Catholic media in Guatemala, including a front-page story by Guatemala’s major newspaper, Prensa Libre.  Radio Maria, a local Catholic network, broadcast the entire conference live, and Jesus TV broadcast various segments.

In addition to the evils of surgical abortion, the conference addressed abortifacient drugs and the immorality of contraception, and featured testimonies on post-abortion and post-contraception trauma.  The activities also included a parade and youth concert.

On April 3 the conference focused specifically on seminarians in the country, who were reportedly “dumbfounded” by “the biotechnological attacks’ on life, post-abortion syndrome and reconciliation, abortifacient contraceptives, anti-life dissent within the Church, NFP and the Theology of the Body,” according to Adolfo Castañeda HLI’s Director of Education.

Castañeda says that the International Planned Parenthood Federation has been in Guatemala since 1979, under the acronyms APROFAM and its “sex-education” arm, AGES, which he says “are dirt-washing Guatemala youth with their filth and are also deceiving married couples with their abortifacient and harmful contraceptives.”

He also adds that “US-based IPAS has been performing undercover first trimester abortions with their manual suction machines, euphemistically called ‘Endo-Uterine Menstrual Aspiration’ (AMEU is the Spanish Acronym). There are four In Vitro Fertilization ‘clinics’, also operating in defiance of the Guatemalan Constitution, which recognizes that life begins at conception.”

As a result of the conference, a new pro-life organization been created for Guatemala which will be affiliated with Human Life International: the Associación Vida y Dignidad (Dignity and Life Association) – ASODEVI.