Local December 12, 2011 | 8:32 am

Mass marks 500 years of Americas’ first human rights shout

Santo Domingo. – Santiago’s archbishop yesterday headed a mass in the Cathedral to mark the 500 years since the sermon of Fray Antón de Montesinos, who fight against the Spaniards colonizers’ abuse, mistreatment and exploitation of the Taino Indians earned him the name of the first human rights activist of the Americas.

Ramon Benito de la Rosa y Carpio said the first shout to defend the indigenous peoples from the colonizers’ oppression and mistreatment is contained in the declaration of human rights as well as in the Dominican Constitution.

Based on the “Sermon of Montesinos,” de la Rosa stressed the importance of defending the dignity of the people and of their rights, and affirmed that what the country most needs is improved health. “With what right do we have a population that doesn’t have the right to health and with what right do we have hundreds of people who live in barrios without house.”

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