ELCA Head Petitions for University’s Murder Investigation

In light of the recent report of a fatal burglary at the Salvadoran Lutheran University that left the guard of duty dead and almost all the university’s equipment stolen, the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) wrote an appeal to “uncover the identities of those responsible.”

"We deplore this vicious act against the university" and ask "for an immediate and thorough investigation to uncover the identities of those responsible," wrote Hanson in a Feb. 7 letter to El Salvador’s President Elias Antonio Saca.

According to a news release by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, the Salvadoran Lutheran University was “raided and sacked.” Guard Manuel De Jesus Martinez was killed and the school’s computers and educational materials from the department for environmental services were stolen.

While the university’s equipment has since been recovered and two suspects captured, Hanson said the future safety of the university is still at stake.

"We are concerned about the future safety of this entire university community, those employed there as well as faculty and students," Hanson said, asking the president of El Salvador to "direct the Policia Nacional Civil to provide increased protection to the university and the surrounding area. We are concerned that further violence could be directed toward the university, which will make it impossible to fulfill its educational mission."

According to ELCA news, Hanson visited the university in September 2004, and testified that the ELCA "has strong relationships with both the Salvadoran Lutheran Church and the university.”

"I was very impressed with the commitment of this relatively young university to serve the poor of El Salvador through its course offerings and scholarships for members of marginalized communities,” he said.