AMERICA/MEXICO - Mgr. Arizmendi in the face of popular protests: "We cannot be indifferent to the suffering of families"

Thursday, 14 January 2016 indigenous   violence   bishops  

San Cristóbal de las Casas (Agenzia Fides) - The Bishop of the diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas, His Exc. Mgr. Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, has agreed to mediate in the conflict in the Mexican town of Altos de Chiapas, which in recent days was the scene of violence before which the Bishop said: "the diocese cannot be insensitive to the suffering of families".
The request was sparked off by the Standing Committee of the People of Oxchuc, protesting against the mayor, María Gloria Sánchez Gómez for various irregular actions that occurred during the elections last October, when she was elected, and also because when the government called for dialogue, 38 representatives of the Commission who had gone to the meeting, were arrested on false charges.
On Friday, 8 January more than 2,000 inhabitants of Oxchuc clashed with police in protests, in which 80 police officers were injured, 30 people were stopped by the police, 18 homes burned or destroyed and 8 cars were set on fire. Also this group of protesters call for the resignation of the mayor for the good of the town.
Mgr. Arizmendi was very clear: "Some say that the government should address these problems and not just say that it is engaged in the preparation of Pope Francis' visit, scheduled for 15 February. And they are right". Then he added: "justice and social peace are priorities, and yet they do not realize that it is the Pope himself who says we cannot stand with arms crossed before the problems of the community". (CE) (Agenzia Fides 14/01/2016)