AMERICA/PERU - The Bishops: violence cannot be a means to achieve the development of peoples

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Lima (Agenzia Fides) - "In the face of painful episodes on Tuesday, July 3, the Peruvian Episcopal Conference (CEP) launched a new appeal to all protagonists of the conflict, so that they put aside the speeches that incite to violence, to assess the force used to control the fighting, to reflect together on common solutions, and in particular renounce violence as a means to achieve the objectives of a community or people." In the statement entitled "Violence cannot be a means to achieve the development of peoples", sent to Fides Agency, the Episcopal Conference goes back to the serious incidents that took place on July 3 in the region of Cajamarca (in the north of Peru), where the people demonstrated against the construction of the Conga mining project, which caused deaths and injuries (see Fides 04/07/2012).
In the statement the Bishops also recall that human life is a supreme value and must be protected and privileged by all. The Bishops are saddened by the violent death of the people involved in this conflict and ask the parties to "resume dialogue as the only way to resolve conflicts peacefully and rationally." At the end of the text, the Church offers to mediate and bring back calm, because "the Church proclaims the value of life and respect for fundamental human rights, promotes the attitude of respect for nature and promotes a culture of peace and dialogue."
The statement is signed by the President of the CEP, his Exc. Mgr. Salvador Piñeiro García-Calderón, Metropolitan Archbishop of Ayacucho.
A new clash between police and protesters contrary to the Conga mining project occurred on July 4 in the city of Cajamarca, although this is in one of three provinces in the region where a state of emergency was declared. According to information provided by Catholic Radio Onda Azul to Fides, the new clash occurred yesterday, July 4, about nine o'clock in the morning, when police tried to disperse a group of people who had gathered outside the cathedral of the city of Cajamarca. The police had to use tear gas to disperse the protesters, who responded by throwing objects such as glass bottles. It should be noted that, due to the state of emergency in the area, some constitutional guarantees related to personal liberty and security have been suspended: the inviolability of housebreaking (the police can enter homes), freedom of meeting and transit. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 05/07/2012)