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Spanish born priest, Father García Laviana travelled to Nicaragua in 1970 and joined the Sandinistas in their revolutionary struggle for power. In a letter, he explained his decision by reference to the statement of the Catholic church’s Medellín conference 0f 1968, which said
“Revolutionary insurrection may be legitimate in the case of a clear and persistent tyranny which gravely endangers fundamental human rights and greatly harms the common good of the nation, whether this tyranny originates in one individual or in clearly unjust social structures.”
In a second letter in 1978, Laviana tried to explain the link between religious and socio-political motives in his action:
“My faith and my belonging to the Catholic church oblige me to take an active part in the revolutionary process with the FSLN. For the liberation of an oppressed people is an integral part of Christ’s total redemption. My active contribution in this process is a sign of Christian solidarity with the oppressed and those who struggle to free them.”
On 11 December 1978 he was killed in an encounter with the National Guard.
Löwy, M “The war of Gods. Religion and politics in Latin America.” Verso (1996(