January 8, 1999

Retired Archbishop Carrasco, champion of the poor, dies in Mexico

                  MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -- Retired Catholic Archbishop Bartolome
                  Carrasco, one of Mexico's most dedicated champions of the poor and of
                  Indian rights, died on Thursday aged 80, church officials said on Friday.

                  Carrasco, who was archbishop of the impoverished southeastern state of
                  Oaxaca, died of liver complications related to a long-standing battle with

                  One of Mexico's chief proponents of so-called "Liberation Theology" that
                  saw its hey-dey among left-leaning sectors of the Latin American church in
                  the 1980s, Carrasco was archbishop of mainly indigenous Oaxaca for 17

                  He was one of the last pillars in Mexico, along with Bishop Samuel Ruiz in
                  Chiapas and Bishop Arturo Lona Reyes in Oaxaca, of a theology that
                  promoted equality and social well-being for the country's 10 million
                  indigenous inhabitants.

                  A church statement said his last words were ones of blessing for the people
                  of Oaxaca.

                  Ordained as a priest in 1945, Carrasco ended his work as archbishop in
                  1993 at the age of 75.

                    Copyright 1999 Reuters.