AMERICA/VENEZUELA - One cannot stop violence with violence

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Caracas (Agenzia Fides) - "The use of force is reserved by law to the bodies of State security, they have the sole responsibility to stop the violence caused by some people": This is what we read in the statement sent to Fides Agency by the Archdiocese of Caracas, signed by Cardinal Archbishop Jorge Urosa Savino and auxiliary Bishops of the capital. The Bishops wish to remind the government that civilians cannot be used to stop violence against demonstrators. Insecurity has in fact resulted in vandalism and looting in several cities of the country, and the emergence of so-called "Colectivos", violent and armed groups who, under the pretext of stopping the demonstrations of citizens, create panic and violence.
Apparently they seem to enjoy the sympathy of the authorities because they are neither punished nor prosecuted by justice for their actions .
The Pastors of Caracas say: "The involvement of these groups (civil) in the repression of protesters, in addition to being illegal, is extremely dangerous and threatens to give more power to the protests of citizens". On behalf of the Church, they express concern over the escalation of violence experienced by the country in recent days.
The authorities are asked to ensure the right to protest, and especially to listen to those who claim about the insecurity and lack of basic foodstuffs. In conclusion, the Bishops invite all citizens to "promote harmony in order to prevent violent acts that violate public order and endanger the lives of citizens". (CE) (Agenzia Fides 11/03/2014)