Priest Mauro Verzeletti, protector of migrants, leaves Guatemala after 23 years of service

Brazilian priest Mauro Verzeletti, director of the Guatemalan Migrant House, announced this Friday, December 17, that he is leaving the country after 23 years of struggle in favor of Central American migrants who seek to arrive in the United States irregularly.

Verzeletti said that he will return to his native Brazil to study political science, because that will help him in negotiation issues with the countries involved in the migration issue. He said that he is not sure if he will return, but that he would do so with great pleasure.

The announcement of the priest of the order of San Carlos Scalabrinianos came at the end of a Eucharist for the 56 Central American migrants who died in an accident in Chiapas, Mexico, when they were transported hidden inside in a truck, on their journey to achieve the American dream in U.S.

“Today we are all shocked by these human tragedies. Today, I will leave for a new mission. I am going to study political science, but I ask all of you, brothers and sisters, not to let this (sacred) gift die. Do not be afraid to report, do not be afraid of threats, “he said.

He emphasized that during the 23 years that he directed the Casa del Migrante he faced “many threats with pain, with suffering”. But “I faced them out of love for my vocation, at the service of migrants. Because they are my cause and I gave my life for them, “he added.

The threats, he added, “helped me grow, made me more human, because I am in defense of human rights, of the weakest in society. I ask (those attending the Eucharist) to be strong promoters of this cause ”.

He asked his team and the faithful to continue “in this fight.”

“Let us not be afraid because fear cows us, takes us away from the truth, makes us indifferent. Fear takes away our freedom. Let us not be afraid, let us be prophets of hope, of love, of joy; let us be prophets of the gospel of life and hope ”.

Verzeletti added that both the Casa del Migrante and the projects will continue “giving that comprehensive humanitarian response, from the moment they are passing through Guatemala, when they return or when their rights are violated or when they are seeking international protection.” .

Asked about a possible return to Guatemala after completing his studies, he said he did not know what the decision of the congregation of Scalabrinian missionaries would be, but indicated that if they ask him to do so, he will do so “with great pleasure, to always propose something new for the migrant population ”.

This Saturday, prior to his farewell at the end of the year, Verzeletti will present a book entitled “Memories of love in the historical drama of migrations.”

Character of the year

The missionary was declared in 2018 “character of the year” by Prensa Libre, for his humanitarian work in favor of migrants, with greater intensity since in October of that year the phenomenon of caravans of Central Americans, mainly Hondurans, to the United States began. .

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