A former Archbishop of the Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America – the Anglican Church in the Central America Region (IARCA), Bishop Martín Barahona, has died of cancer. Bishop Martín had been Anglican Bishop of El Salvador. As the country was preparing to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the assassination of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of El Salvador, Óscar Romero, in March 2010, an unidentified man shot at his car. Bishop Martín was not injured, but his driver, Francis Martínez, was hit in the stomach and arm. Bishop Martín died on Saturday at La Divina Providencia Hospital in San Salvador, at the age of 76. He had cancer.
Bishop Martin had served as a Roman Catholic priest for 11 years before joining the Anglican Church. He became Bishop of El Salvador in 1992 – the first Salvadorian to serve as Bishop; and was installed as Archbishop of IARCA in 2003 and served until 2011. He retired as Bishop of El Salvador in January 2015.
In a statement, IARCA said that Bishop Martín would be remembered as a campaigner for justice, the poor, human rights and ecumenism. He was a member of the National Council for Citizen Security and Coexistence in El Salvador and had played a significant part in the peace process that ended the civil war in 1992.
The Vice President of El Salvador, Félix Ulloa, paid tribute to Bishop Martín, describing him as “a tireless fighter for human rights and the social causes of our people.” The Vice President expressed his deepest condolences to Bishop Martín’s family “and the entire Anglican Community.”
The current Bishop of El Salvador, Juan David Alvarado, described Bishop Martín as “a happy and sensitive pastor” who “had a life given in faith to Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy People”.