Bruno Kreisky Foundation

for Human Rights

Bishop Leonidas Eduardo Proaño Villalba (Ecuador)

Bishop Proaño was one of the most important spiritual leaders of the Latin American church. He was the bishop of the Riobamba diocese beginning in 1954. He advocated the freedom of the Indian population in Latin America. In his district approximately two-thirds of the population were descendants of indigenous peoples. He fought for their basic rights from the point of view of evangelism. Proaño was defamed and persecuted for the work that he did, but he continued in spite of this. He founded centers for Christian education throughout the diocese. At one of his schools in Santa Cruz more than a thousand native people and farmers were helped. Bishop Proaño died in 1988, and his work was taken on by Bishop Victor Corral.
Bishop Proaño died in 1988 and his work was taken over by Bishop Victor Corral.