Murder of a Lasallian Educator: Remembering Brother James “Santiago” Miller
Posted on February 13, 2017 by The Quadrangle in Features
By Aaron Mayorga, Editor
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35 years ago this week, on the afternoon of February 13, 1982, Brother James A. Miller, F.S.C. – known affectionately by the locals as Hermano Santiago – was repairing a wall just outside
“La Casa Indígena De La Salle” or “The Indian Center.” Standing atop a step-ladder, Miller echoed his everyman roots as he worked to patch the damaged wall. Having been born to a family of farmers near Stevens Point, Wis., it was emblematic of Miller’s character to find the 6-foot-2-inch, 220-pound missionary working with his hands.
Amidst the violence and terror of the Guatemalan Civil War, the Indian Center was thought to be a sanctuary from all the bloodshed, which was tucked away in the picturesque highlands of western Guatemala. Located over 150 miles from Guatemala City, an 18-hour trip by bus, it seemed unfathomable that tragedy would strike Huehuetenango – the city in which the Indian Center was situated.
That is, until it did.
As Miller worked, an automobile carrying three hooded gunmen sped past. Unloading their entire magazines at the Christian Brother from point-blank range, Miller was struck and killed instantly. According to Sister Madeleva Manzanares Suazo, who worked in a nearby hospice and rushed to his side after hearing the gunshots, the 37-year old Wisconsin native was dead before he hit the ground.
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[JR: Requiescat In Pacem]
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