Bishop Raul Vera: Human Rights and Immigration in Mexico

Hear a Leading Voice of Faith for Justice and Human Rights in Mexico

Take advantage of a remarkable opportunity to meet and hear one of Mexico's most compelling religious leaders during his brief visit to the US!   Bishop Raul Vera's talk is co-sponsored by CRLN, St. Pius V Catholic Church, The Resurrection Project, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Priests for Justice for Immigrants of the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform, Southwest Organizing Project, Instituto de Progreso Latino, and the University of Chicago's Human Rights Program and Center for Latin American Studies.  Details include:

Day:  Tuesday May 20, 2008
Time:  7:00 pm
Where:  St. Pius V Catholic Church (in Pilsen), 1901 S. Ashland Ave., Chicago
Parking:  in front of the church, behind the school and at Cooper school, 1650 W. 19th St. 

For more information about the talk, contact Jim Vondracek at or Father Chuck Dahm at

Bishop Vera's Bio

In 1995, Bishop Vera was named Coadjutor Bishop of Chiapas, serving with Don Samuel Ruiz Garcia.  According to Bishop Vera, his work with the poor indigenous communities in Chiapas became, for him, a conversion experience.  He worked alongside Bishop Ruiz in the peace and reconciliation process in Chiapas and has since become an outspoken advocate of the poor and dispossessed in Mexico.    

In 1999, Bishop Vera was named Bishop of Saltillo, Coahuila, in northern Mexico.  Among his other activities in Saltillo, he created and presides over the Diocesan Center for Human Rights Fray Juan de Larios, which works with vulnerable groups, including migrants, indigenous, women, and sex workers.  Under his leadership, the Diocese founded a shelter for migrants, the Belen Posada del Migrante.  Bishop Vera has been particularly active in the struggle for justice by the surviving families of the 65 coal miners killed in the blast at the Pasta de Conchos mine in Coahuila in 2006.  Bishop Vera is the head of the Mexican Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Immigration.  On December 11, 2007 (between Human Rights Day and the Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe) Bishop Vera was honored in Mexico City by a coalition of Mexican human rights organizations and the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights. The UN Commission presented Bishop Vera with a special recognition for his work as a human rights defender to underscore their concern for the lack of protection afforded Bishop Vera by the Catholic Church and the Mexican government.


Bishop Vera's US Visit

Bishop Vera's visit to Chicago is supported by the University of Chicago's Human Rights Program, Center for Latin American Studies, the Friedrich Katz Center for Mexican Studies, and the Norman Wait Harris Fund of the Center for International Studies.  For more information about Bishop Vera's visit, please contact Sarah Moberg, University of Chicago Human Rights Program, at 773-834-0957.