Argentina military officers convicted of (Catholic) Bishop's murder


Bishop Angelelli died in a car crash in the northern city of La Rioja shortly after the military seized power.

Officials insisted that his death was no more than a traffic accident . . .

His car overturned just outside La Rioja in August 1976, a few months after the military began their campaign against suspected leftists.

Enrique Ángel Angelelli (17 June 1923 – 4 August 1976) was a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church in Argentina, assassinated during the Dirty war for his involvement with social issues.

Angelelli, the son of Italian immigrants, was born in Córdoba and entered the seminary of Our Lady of Loreto at 15 years of age. He was then sent to Rome to finish his studies. He was ordained priest on 9 October 1949 and returned to Córdoba.

He started working in a parish, founded youth movements and visited Córdoba’s slums. He focused his pastoral work on the conditions of the poor. Pope John XXIII appointed him auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Córdoba on 12 December 1960. He got involved in labor union conflicts and worked with other priests looking for a renewal of the Church, which caused him to be resisted. In 1964 he was removed from his post. That same year he took part in the Second Vatican Council.

Two of the Bishop Angelelli’s murderers, former army General Luciano Benjamin Menendez and former Vice-Commodore Luis Fernando Estrella, are finally brought to justice.

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