Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Argentina mother expresses forgiveness of son’s killer during court trial



Buenos Aires, Nov. 15, 2006 (CNA) - The mother of a murdered Argentinean man surprised the country this week when she approached the man charged with the crime during his trial, gave him a rosary, hugged him, and invited him to open his heart to God.

The courtroom encounter occurred in the town of Esquel in southern Argentina. Ana Maria Suarez was present during the trial of Fabian Chavez, 25, who confessed to killing her son, Mariano Drew.

Before those present, Suarez said, “Only prayer each day soothes my grief. Yesterday when I went to the Church of St. Cajetan, I prayed to the Virgin Mary and I thought, my son is with God. But I also thought of you, so young that you are. I’m not going to hurt you. I just want to give you this,” she said before handing him a rosary.

“Only God heals wounds. I forgive you. And if my son offended you I ask your forgiveness. I loved him and now I don’t want you to suffer. The fate that has befallen you grieves me because I work with young people. In this country there is much violence. And you have been a victim of that since you were born. It is love that also helps to heal wounds,” Suarez said, hugging the defendant, who broke down in tears.

Last September, Chavez, who was raised as an orphan and is an admitted alcoholic, beat 27 year-old Mariano Drew to death in the town of El Hoyo.

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