Fr. James “Guadalupe” Carney was US Jesuit missionary to Honduras. He worked with the poorest, accompanying them in their cooperatives and in their struggles for justice. For this he was expelled from Honduras.
After a short stay in the US he went to Nicaragua. There he connected with some Honduran guerrillas, as their chaplain. He accompanied them into Honduras where they were captured. He was killed by the US-trained Honduran army forces, possibly thrown out of a helicopter. It is believed that he died on September 16, 1983.
A community of poor campesinos who have tried to take over land that has been appropriated by rich landowners has taken his name for their community. They, like other communities in the Lower Aguan Valley, in Colón, Honduras, still suffer – not only from the lack of land but also from the violence of the security guards of the large landowners and the military who have killed a fair number of campesinos.
Thus, the words of Padre Guadalupe are still relevant.
“To love Christ really is to try to live as He lived. If I love the poor as Christ did, I, too, freely choose to become one with them, live with them, share their lives, besides trying to use my talents to help and teach them… He freely chose to become one of the masses of poor people of the world, of the eighty percent of the world who ‘have not,’ rejecting the comfortable life of the twenty percent who ‘have’ (even though he loved them too). And he tore into the system and those that held the masses in the bondage of ignorance and poverty….And he was killed for it. To be killed for my following of Christ would be my greatest joy too….”