Peacemaking cardinal dies and is praised in Guatemala

Cardinal Rodolfo Quezada Toruno, who helped negotiate an end to Guatemala’s bloody three-decade civil war, has died at the age 80.

Local church officials say Quezada passed away Monday at a hospital in Guatemala City from an intestinal disorder.

Quezada was a bishop when he was named head of the National Reconciliation Commission in 1987. His work on the commission laid the groundwork for the 1996 peace accord between the government and the leftist guerilla movement, ending 36 years of fighting.

Guatemalan President Otto Pérez has ordered three days of national mourning for Quezada, whom he called a fighter for peace and reconciliation.

He was elevated to cardinal in 2003 by Pope John Paul II.

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