Assasination attempt on Bishop Barahona, El Salvador


From the Rev. Lee Alison Crawford’s blog Caminate:

Bishop of the Anglican Church of El Salvador victim of an assassination attempt

San Salvador, 18 March 2010

The Episcopal Church of El Salvador denounces before the general public and the international community the murder attempt that Bishop Barahona and two of his closest collaborators suffered.

This past Wednesday night (17th), Bishop Barahona, along two of his closest working partners, was victim of the violence that has held this country imprisoned. An unknown man, without saying anything, shot at them . The bullets hit the bishop’s driver, Francis Francis Martínez, who is now hospitalized. Meanwhile, the bishop, thanks be to God, was unharmed.

What is odd about these events is that the police was just a couple of meters away. As the Episcopal Church, we are dismayed by this inexplicable fact. The bishop is a pastor whose principle function is to accompany spiritually the faithful who seek his advice and solace.

We lament profoundly this fact, as do many Salvadorans, who are victims of violence and impunity. We ask everyone’s prayers that hope in a different El Salvador is not lost and that this event is not a sign of persecution of the church.

The Most Rev’d Martín Barahona, 67 years old, has been the Bishop of the Anglican Church of El Salvador since 1992 and he is the Primate of the Anglican Communion in Central America (IARCA). This church is one of the historical churches, characterized by its prophetic accompaniment of the national reality.

We invite you to a press conference this afternoon at 3.00 PM at San Juan Evangelista, on 63rd Avenue Sur, in front of the Telefónica y Telecom towers.

From ENS:

The Anglican Episcopal Church of El Salvador March 18 publicly denounced the attempted murder of Bishop Martín Barahona and two others, according to a news release issued by the church.

The incident happened in Santa Tecla, El Salvador, on March 17 when an unknown man approached and fired upon Barahona, a church musician and Francis Martínez, the bishop’s driver, according to news reports. Barahona was unharmed, but Martinez was hit in the stomach and his arm was broken by one of the gunshots. He is in “grave but stable condition,” said the Rev. Lee Alison Crawford, rector of Trinity Church in Rutland, Vermont and a member of the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council, in a telephone interview with ENS.

“At this point we don’t know if there was a particular motivation or whether this was random, which is symptomatic of the pervasive violence that affects all sectors of daily life in El Salvador,” she said.

Crawford, who is the canon missioner of the Anglican Episcopal Church of El Salvador, said she had been in touch with church members in El Salvador after receiving word of the shooting.

h/t to Grandmère Mimi at Wounded Bird

Spanish version below:



Obispo de la Iglesia Anglicana de El Salvador victima de atentado

San Salvador, 18 de marzo de 2010. La Iglesia Episcopal de El Salvador denuncia ante la población en general y comunidad internacional, el atentado a muerte que ha sufrido el Obispo Martín Barahona y dos de sus más cercanos colaboradores.

La noche de este miércoles, el Obispo Martín Barahona junto a dos de sus más cercanos colaboradores fueron víctima de la violencia que tiene aprisionado este país; un hombre desconocido, sin mediar palabras les disparó. Los impactos alcanzaron al motorista del religioso, Francis Martínez, quien se encuentra hospitalizado. Mientras que el Obispo, gracias a Dios resultó ileso.

Lo curioso de los sucesos es que, a metros del atentado se encontraba la policía. Como Iglesia Episcopal nos encontramos consternados y sin explicación para este hecho. El Obispo es un pastor, cuya función principal es el de acompañar espiritualmente a su feligresía y a quienes buscan su consejo y consuelo.

Lamentamos profundamente este hecho, como el de muchos y muchas salvadoreñas, que a diario son víctimas de la violencia y de la impunidad. Pedimos las oraciones de todos y todas para que no se pierda la esperanza de un El Salvador diferente y que no sea este suceso una señal de persecución a la Iglesia.

El reverendísimo Martín Barahona, de 67 años de edad, es el Obispo de la Iglesia Anglicana de El Salvador desde 1992, y es el Primado de la Comunión Anglicana en Centro América (IARCA). Esta Iglesia al igual que las llamadas Iglesias Históricas se ha caracterizado por acompañar, desde una visión profética la realidad nacional.

Le invitamos a conferencia de prensa esta tarde a las 3.00.P.M. en San la Parroquia San Juan Evangelista, sobre la 63 ave. Sur. Frente a las Torres Telefónica y Telecom.

Dislike (0)
Ross Elliott
Ross Elliott


I just now learned of this heinous attempt on Obispo Barahona's life. It makes me sad and while my natural instinct is anger, there's already too much anger in the world already. Let us pray that attacks like these will cease and that the church may grow and more people will in that way know God's love, incarnate in His Son, Jesus Christ.

Like (0)
Dislike (0)

Does anyone know if the Bishop was targeted because of who he is or merely because he appears to be (relatively speaking) well off and therefore a logical choice for a robbery attempt?

Either, of course, is appalling and tragic, but each has a different set of implications.

Malcolm French+

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Leonardo Ricardo

This is a ugly thuggish gangsterlike abuse...and as a person who lives in Central America I can report that this type of random and/or planned violence is a everyday reality.

Who could know what insanity, greed, jealousy or attempted extortion would fuel such a vile act of violence...criminal acts of brutal injustice run rampant.

My prayers are for the peace and well being of the injured, the persecuted and the victims of fear/hate-crimes at La Iglesia Episcopal de El Salvador, the IARCA Comunión Anglicana en Centro América everywhere else in the Anglican Communion.

San Oscar Romero, please protect our beloved Primate, Archbishop Martín Barahona. Amen

Like (0)
Dislike (0)