On Monday morning, former Archbishop of Guatemala Rodolfo Quezada Toruño died of natural causes at the age of 80. Quezada Toruño was a force behind the long peace process that eventually culminated with the Firm and Lasting Peace signed between the government of Guatemala and the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unit (URNG) in December 1996.
Quezada Toruño and Bishop Juan Gerardi were members of the National Reconciliation Commission. Quezada Toruño served as the commission's president 1987 to 1993. He was also the president of the Assembly of Civil Society from 1994 to 1996. The assembly brought leaders from civil society together to produce advisory documents for the peace process.
Quezada Toruño was named a cardinal by Pope John Paul II in October 2003. He then resigned in October 2010. Right up to his last days in office, Quezada Toruño continued to give his voice to the voiceless. He criticized Goldcorp for the environmental and social consequences of its mining in Guatemala. He also criticized President Colom for not doing enough to make the country safe for everyone.
President Otto Perez Molina has declared three days of national mourning.