AMERICA/MEXICO - “We cannot be silent and impassive before the crashing violence which continues to bloody this part of Mexico and the silent wave no less destructive of drug-dealing”: Bishops of north east Pastoral region of Mexico launch pressing appeal

Wednesday, 8 June 2005

Monterrey (Fides Service) - In a statement ‘Drug-dealing and Social Violence’ the Catholic Bishops of the north east Pastoral region of Mexico say they cannot remain silent and unmoved before “crashing violence which continues to bloody this part of Mexico and the silent wave no less destructive of drug-dealing”. They say this situation of tension, insecurity, fear and mistrust must end. The north east Pastoral region of Mexico includes the dioceses of Monterrey, Linares, Piedras Negras, Ciudad Victoria, Ciudad Valles, Saltello, Nuevo Lardo, Tampico, and Matamoros.
The statement has four parts: “the situation in which we live”; ”destructive values”; “our reflection”; “our appeal”. In the first part the Bishops describe the present situation of violence, executions of civilians, kidnappings, raids on homes or public buildings and they lament an increase in the number of people involved in drug-dealing. The denounce certain authorities for complicity in dealing and distributing drugs. This culture of death - marked by corruption and impunity, scorn for human life, debasement of human dignity and loss of awareness of the value of honest work - threatens “to make people lose sight of transcendent human values which give unity and stability to society”.
Negative effects in Mexican society directly related to drug-trafficking, money laundering, prostitution, arms trafficking, violence social aggressiveness, “are signs of a lack of God because to the extent that we exclude the existence and authority of God, we are helpless and the most ambitious and most powerful can decide who lives and who dies”. This panorama - the Bishops said- is a challenge to let God enter our lives, our family and our society. The encounter with Him leads to conversion and commitment to eradicate violence and work tirelessly for peace. “Only conversion to God leads us to assume awareness of the consequences of collaboration with drug-dealing”.
With deep sadness and concern the Bishops launch a pressing appeal to the local Church and all society to help put an end to the suffering of so many human beings and to stop the destruction of social tissue caused by drug-dealing. The Bishops recognise the authorities’ commitment to eradicate this scourge, and urge them to take into consideration that one root of the problem is social inequality which denies most people the opportunity of development. Corruption and impunity damage the state of law and undermine the legitimate foundations of society creating voids of power which open the door to an ungovernable situation and widespread suspicion with regard to those in authority. Media operators are urged to promote respect for human life, to avoid diffusing news which increases violence, instead report what helps to strengthen he people’s sense of values and morality.
Families are asked to be true to their mission to educate children and to accompany them at every stage of growth in the awareness that children and young people are the main target of drug-dealers. Lastly the Bishops call on pastoral workers to make sure that evangelisation and catechesis is always convinced proclamation of Jesus Christ, the only Saviour: “Let us form a common front to promote the values of life, the dignity of human person and human work, responsible citizenship, honesty, justice and peace to facilitate the reconstruction of society”. (RZ) (Agenzia Fides 8/6/2005, righe 45, parole 641)