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Catholic Church... former Parish of Father Gaspar García Laviana
25-JAN-2013

Catholic Church... former Parish of Father Gaspar García Laviana

San Juan del Sur, Nicaraagua

Father Gaspar García Laviana (1941 — December 11, 1978) was a Spanish Roman Catholic priest who took up arms to fight as soldier in Nicaragua with the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) in 1977. Somoza's National Guard tried on two occasions to assassinate him. He fled to Costa Rica where he met exiled members of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN). He agreed with them that the overthrow of Somoza was a moral—even religious—necessity. After agonizing soul-searching, and deep reading in church doctrine, he decided that taking up arms to fight evil did not violate his Christian principles. His decision was broadcast in two secretly distributed public letters that made clear that, with a heavy heart, he felt armed struggle was his Christian duty as a priest in solidarity with the oppressed. Trained in explosives in Cuba, he returned to Central America and joined the "'Benjamin Zeledon' Southern Front" in the Sandinista guerrilla war against Somoza. His unit was betrayed by a traitor and was ambushed on a farm along the Costa Rican border called "El Infierno." Gaspar rose up to fire when he should have stayed down; he was killed instantly. He never lived to see the triumph of the insurrection the following July.

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