Rodolfo Quezada Toruño has been in the news recently for criticizing Goldcorp, a Canadian mining operation in Guatemala. Like many in Guatemala and throughout the region, Quezada is concerned about the environmental and social consequences of Goldcorp's mining, particularly on the indigenous. Following Quezada's outspokenness, a website (PorMiFamiliayPorGuate.org) criticized him for not appreciating the benefits that would accrue to the people of Guatemala through the exploitation of its mines. Quezada was acting "imprudently." (See also Prensa Libre) Quezada brought the issue up during his homily this weekend, saying that he is "unafraid" in the face of economic and political powers that seek to silence him.
He also questioned whether the arrests surrounding the Pavón prison case were a "smokescreen" designed to distract attention away from the Colom administration's failures. Giammattei was a former presidential candidate who had remained outspoken critic of the government. He also remaintained interested in running for the presidency again. Therefore, there are concerns in Guatemalan that his arrest was politically motivated and Quezada added a bit of fuel tothe fire.
The Cardinal also called on the president to "stop being useless and take the measures necessary which they are obliged to do to provide us peace, the peace to which we all have a right."
None of the criticisms against Quezada seem that out of line. However, in a country with a history of violence against outspoken members of the Catholic Church, even the "soft" criticisms need to be taken seriously.