Bishop in Colombia Calls for Halt to ‘Whirlwind of Murders’

He Reiterated ‘His Closeness and Solidarity’ with the Population Affected

Whirlwind of Murders
Protesters against violence in Colombia © Vatican Media

The Bishop of the municipality of Arauca, in Colombia, appealed to the different actors of the conflict, to put an end to the “whirlwind of murders,” reported the Diocese of Arauca in a press release on January 16, 2022.

The information system of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia reported that, in face of the complex situation that is worsening in the Department of Arauca, the Bishop of that region of the country, Monsignor Jaime Cristóbal Abril González, reiterated “his closeness and solidarity” with the population affected and encouraged them to “grow in hope.”

According to the Episcopate, on presenting an X-ray of the sober scene lived there, the Bishop stated that the direct reactivation of the armed confrontation between insurgent groups, has led to the worsening of the social crisis and, as a consequence of this, evidenced are: selective murders, forced displacements, threats to men and women leaders, explosive attacks, and the burning of vehicles, among others.

The Bishop also stressed in the press release  that “life is sacred and a precious gift received from God, and that no one is permitted to take it away from another. Hence he calls the direct actors of the conflict to “move from mutual recrimination, which seeks to make the other the sole one responsible for the events in order to generate the pretext  for the response actions, to a reflection on themselves, to a serene analysis of the events, to address the truth and clarify the deeds, to halt, to halt the growing whirlwind of murders, violent acts and threats and to put the good of the civil population in the first place.”

The Bishop also made a vehement appeal to the Civil Authorities to seek to safeguard the life and integrity of the population, as well as to make totally concrete contingency plans and humanitarian aid. He appealed to the International Community to continue its accompaniment and support of the population and the organizational structure present in this area of the country.

Moreover, in face of the misinformation generated through the social networks, with press releases, videos, and recordings lacking in veracity, sowing uncertainty, confusion, and fear in the population, the Prelate exhorts all the people “to be prudent in our comments, avoiding all reckless judgments, accusations or signaling, which can put at risk the life and integrity of any person.”

By way of conclusion, the Bishop pointed out that the Catholic Church in Arauca “will always be willing to renew the commitment to peace, justice and the good of all.” “We express our willingness to contribute from that which corresponds to us, to surmount the situation we are living.”

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester