AMERICA/COLOMBIA - "Kidnapping is the worst thing one could do": Bishop Jaramillo’s appeal

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Magangué (Agenzia Fides) - The Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Magangué, Colombia, His Exc. Mgr. Hernán Giraldo Jaramillo (Bishop Emeritus of Buga), has launched an appeal calling for the respect of life and to release the five people kidnapped on Friday, January 18 in the municipality of Norosi, in the south of Bolivar, in Colombia, by the group "Dario Castro", belonging to the Army of National Liberation (ELN).
The Archbishop, turning to the kidnappers, said that "there are other ways to reclaim what they consider to be their right, without involving other people. Kidnapping is the worst thing one can do." In this context, he then added, "we must all aspire to freedom. It is an essential, fundamental characteristic of human dignity." As part of the talks for peace in the country, the Bishop called these actions as "contradictory", as they can only discredit the position of subversive groups. In the note sent to Fides Agency by the Episcopal Conference, also states: "If you want to have authority, they must respect human dignity, and not to expect anything by putting other people’s lives at risk." Mgr. Jaramillo finally recalled to the families of the hostages that prayer is the greatest force in these moments, and that the Lord hears us whenever we are in danger.
The five kidnapped are two Peruvian engineers , a Canadian and two Colombians, all of the mining Company Geo Explorer. The ELN motivated the kidnapping: "the government has given 99 per cent of the Mining Shares of extraction of the Serrania de San Lucas to foreign companies, leaving only one per cent to the communities that inhabit this land." The rebel group, in its request, claim the protection of natural resources as a common good. Meanwhile, authorities continue search operations of the hostages. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 23/01/2013)