Pablo Romo, a Dominican priest and colleague of Bishop Ruiz, said that "He made the word of God accessible to the people."

Known as the "Tatic", meaning "father" in the Mayan language, Bishop Samuel Ruiz Garcia was the reverend of Mexican indigenous communities and its most dedicated defender of rights and freedoms.

Born on 3 November 1924 in Irapuato, Guanajuato State in central Mexico, Bishop Ruiz Garcia died on 24 January 2011, in Mexico City due to complications with high blood pressure and diabetes.

At his funeral, Mexican President Felipe Calderón, said that Bishop Samuel Ruiz Garcia helped build a more "egalitarian and dignified" Mexico.

Bishop Ruiz Garcia was recompensed for a lifetime's dedication to defending human rights when he received the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders in Mexico City in November 1997.

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