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2013-04-11

AMERICA/MEXICO - A casino in front of the Church: the Bishop opposes

Cancún (Agenzia Fides) - A casino, which encourages young people to gambling and attracts criminal organizations, was opened in front of a church: as reported to Fides, to block it from functioning and to ask for it to be transferred, Mgr. Pedro Pablo Elizondo Cardenas, Bishop of the Prelature of Cancún-Chetumal, in Quintana Roo, has started a legal battle against Playboy Casino in Cancun. The petition of the Church relies on the fact that the casino is located less than 200 meters from a place of worship and this is a violation of the law.
"The casino is within a prohibited area because it is near a school or a church: we appeal to the text of law. Meanwhile, we have settled a lawsuit," explains the Bishop in a note sent to Fides. The casino was opened in 2010, but then it was closed due to lack of safety measures. It was reopened in November 2012, and is opposite the Church of the Risen Christ.
On the issue, the District Court said it was "not competent" and sent everything to the Federal District Court. According to a first report reported by the press, the defense states that "it is the Church that should not be there." In Cancun, there are other casinos because the area is very touristic.
In Mexico, the Church has always condemned the connection between drug trafficking, violence, abuse of power, gambling and corruption, which are at the expense of the poor and suffering. In many cases violence was linked to casino environments where criminals often circulate: everybody remembers the massacre that took place in the city of Monterrey in Nuevo Leon, which caused more than 50 deaths in a casino (see Fides 26/08/2011). The Church and civil society intend to protect the young from the shackles of organized crime. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 11/04/2013)

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