The Common Good
March-April 2003

Are You a Terrorist, Too?

by Rose Marie Berger, Kate Bowman | March-April 2003

Sister Antonia Anthony is a 74-year-old Franciscan nun who raises funds
for the poor of southern Mexico.

Sister Antonia Anthony is a 74-year-old Franciscan nun who raises funds for the poor of southern Mexico. Recently she saw her ministry described differently, thanks to the Denver Police Department. "I have seen my spy file," Anthony told the Rocky Mountain News. "I was listed as part of the Chiapas Coalition, [described as] a criminal extremist group. I suppose when I first read that, it just seemed to me to be ludicrous." As part of her file, the police cited Anthony's belief that "global financial policies are responsible for the uprisings in Chiapas, Mexico," according to a deposition viewed by the Rocky Mountain News. It said she sought to "overthrow the Mexican government."

Anthony, who lives at the Marycrest Convent in Denver, co-founded the Chiapas Coalition in 1996. The group is dedicated to helping indigenous people in Mexico's southernmost state. Because of this work, the Denver Police Department—operating, it appears, its own Red Squad—marked Anthony for investigation. Anthony is suing the Denver police. In 2002, Denver's mayor admitted that the police department over the last three years has kept files on about 3,200 individuals and 208 organizations.

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