AMERICA/COLOMBIA - In the region of Chocò: "We are forgotten by all, we have no protection, people live in anguish"

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Bogota (Agenzia Fides) - The Assembly of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Colombia is underway and every bishop, according to the program of the meeting, exposes the reality of his own diocese (see Fides 05/07/2014). Fides Agency received the issues, from various local sources, presented yesterday during the assembly by the various Pastors.
There is particular concern regarding the situation that is being experienced in the region of Chocò (Colombian Coast on the Pacific, which includes the Diocese of Quibdó and Istmina- Tadó). His Exc. Mgr. Juan Carlos Barreto, Bishop of Quibdó, denounced the constant violation of human rights in the region, the geographical difficulties to access the area, which include the presence of drug traffickers, who often hinder and prevent the presence of the services of state. "We have no policies for legitimate and authorized agricultural production" said the Bishop.
His Exc. Mgr. Julio Hernando García Peláez, Bishop of Istmina-Tado, said in his speech that "some responsibility for the violence that the area lives is due to the behavior of the security forces, as some of their members are using civilian areas to protect themselves from the fire of illegal armed groups, and innocent people die in these deadly clashes". Mgr. Garcia pointed out the difficulty of the local reality: "The situation is very delicate, and we as Bishops are the voice of those who have no voice, so we need to highlight that we are not living in human conditions in this area. We are forgotten by all, we have no protection, people live in anguish and without hope". (CE) (Agenzia Fides 09/07/2014)