by Ana Luisa Anza
Samuel Ruiz was known as the Bishop of the Indians and became a symbol of struggle for oppressed people in Chiapas, Mexico. Ruiz, who died Jan. 24, came originally from the Catholic Church’s conservative diocese of León, Guanajuato, in the central part of México.
Everything indicated that he would follow the path of an extremely conservative Church. But the social upheavals of 1968, as well as new streams of thought that emerged within the Catholic Church, influenced him considerably and he opted to work — like Church bishops Hélder Cámara in Brazil and Óscar Romero in El Salvador — with the poor.