The Spanish Adventist pastor and Equatorial Guinea Adventist Mission President, Manuel García Cáceres, was recently expelled from the African country after being accused of being a threat to national security. His wife and daughter remain there with the hope of being able to be reunited again with García, whether in Spain or another country.
García’s expulsion happened very quickly. On Tuesday, May 21, around 3 p.m. local time, the general secretary of the mission, Pastor Filiberto Bugo Isuka, telephoned García that his presence was required in the Office of Religion, part of the Ministry of Justice.
Once there, García was accused of possessing equipment with which he reported to the outside world via satellite about the country’s condition. Arguing that the supposed machine was undetectable by the country’s security service, they classified García as a national security threat.
Such accusations were initially based on the testimony of several people. According to García, the authorities searched his house and office, and the only object of interest that they found was a radio transmitter that still had not been unpacked since its arrival, and that had been sent by the Spanish Adventist Church in Villajoyosa.
According to García and other sources from the country, the radio transmitter had been correctly declared to the corresponding authorities of Equatorial Guinea. Even so, said transmitter served to support the accusation that García reported to the outside world about the country’s condition in a clandestine manner.
That same afternoon, they took his statement in the General Office of National Security (DGSN), withdrew his passport and ordered him to return home.
Also according to García, on the morning of Wednesday, May 22, they returned to order him to present himself to the (DGSN). The Adventist mission had to pay a fine of one thousand Central African CFA francs, about two thousand North American dollars, and García had to be put in prison.
The following day, the Spanish ambassador notified García that the charges against him were so serious that the ambassador couldn’t do anything. He also told García that they were going to deport him to Spain and that given the circumstances, it was the best that could happen. At 7:30 p.m. the same day, García was taken to the airport and from there, left Equatorial Guinea. A little more than a year ago, García had been sent as a missionary to the African country.
García has sent the following statement to Spectrum-Café Hispano by email: “The Equatorial Guinea authorities have nothing to do with what happened, except that they have been used by the person or persons that have falsely accused him to get him out of the way and deport him from Guinea” (translated).
According to the independent watchdog organization based in Washington, D.C., Freedom House, Equatorial Guinea has one of the worst human rights records in the world.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/5305