Spanish Priest Banged Up Abroad

A Spanish priest from the city of Daimiel, Ciudad Real, was arrested by police in El Salvador on the 30th July, suspected of smuggling mobile phones to gang members in prison, the Euro Weekly has heard.

 

Father Antonio Rodriguez was arrested whilst driving to his home in the Salvadoran capital of El Salvador early on Wednesday, and according to the authorities, has been under investigation since March 2013.

 

The priest, who has dedicated the last 15 years of his life to helping Salvadoran gang members reintegrate into society, is celebrated for his role in bringing a fragile truce to the ganglands of El Salvador in March 2012.

 

In the Spanish city of Daimiel, hundreds of people took to the streets to demand the immediate liberation of the catholic priest. Among them was Isamar Orellana, an ex-gang member who now lives in Spain, who said “I’m a living example of all the work that [Father Rodriguez] has done to help us leave that difficult world” he said.

 

Orellana went on to say “He was a marvellous person with me. The father I never had.”

 

Father Rodriguez himself denies the allegations, and claims that he is a victim of anti-church persecution on the part of the government.

 

A further 127 other people, among them 12 members of the Salvadoran police force and 3 judges, were detained that same day, although authorities maintain that these arrests bear no relation to that of Father Rodriguez.

 

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