Statue known as Jesús de la Merced in Guatamala

Jesus statue’s promotion to army general vetoed by Guatemalan president

A beloved statue of Jesus looked likely to get a promotion to general in the Guatemalan army until the church and president stepped in.

The statue, known as Jesús de la Merced, is paraded through the streets of the capital ahead of Easter in centuries-old traditions brought in by former colonial power Spain.

Orlando Aguilar, the parish priest in the neighbourhood church where the statue is kept, said in a Christmas Eve mass that on 3 January the statue would be promoted to the rank of general in the Guatemalan army.

Local media took up the story and suggested the honour was to be conferred ahead of the 300th anniversary of the blessing of the statue in 2017.

But the capital’s bishop was up-in-arms.

  • Wow.


  • Minicapt

    Next “Comrade General Secretary”?


  • Weird. Shades of the controversial former military dictator of Guatemala, Gen. Efrain Rios Montt. Rios Montt was an Evangelical Christian, and was touted by Evangelicals in the U.S. as a “benevolent dictator” back in the ’80’s. He was later tried for genocide, but found not guilty. I don’t follow Guatemalan politics closely enough to opine either way. Just weird.