Caracas (Agenzia Fides) - The Bishops of four Latin American countries have expressed their deep concern over the spread of violence and contempt for human life which has ravaged the region and called on authorities to affront this terrible scourge. In a joint statement, the Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences of Peru, Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador, united in Caracas (Venezuela) on 30 November and 1 December, affirmed that the scourge of corruption and drug trafficking, the increase of crime, murders, kidnappings and acts of terrorism, “are the worst scourges of our people”, and launched an appeal to the authorities and all institutions to coordinate efforts to combat these evils.
Faced with this reality, the Bishops called for efforts to make communities, “a focal point of life in Christ, working for human dignity, reconciliation, social integration, and establishing structures that will strengthen social, economic and political order. The Bishops also sent a message of encouragement and solidarity to the areas of the continent that have been hit by persistent rains in recent weeks: “We pray for those who lost their lives and express our closeness to their relatives and friends, with a word of consolation and hope.” The joint statement was dated 1 December and signed by the Presidents of the four Episcopal Conferences. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 03/12/2010)