AMERICA/VENEZUELA - Mgr. Parra asks for "justice and truth for the families of the 28 miners missing"

Friday, 11 March 2016 politics   violence   poverty   bishops  

Ciudad Guyana (Agenzia Fides) - "At first I thought it was a protest due to lack of services", said His Exc. Mgr. Mariano Parra Sandoval, Bishop of Ciudad Guayana, who during a visit to the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes, in the town of El Dorado, witnessed the suffering of the relatives of the miners who have disappeared in Tumeremo.
On March 7, in fact, it is believed that there was a clash among gangs in Tumeremo in the state Bolivar, a mining area. A group of 28 miners did not want to give in to threats and now they are reported missing. Some local media speculated that they have been killed, others burned or otherwise killed. The population complains about the indifference of the authorities.
Mgr. Parra spoke at length with each of those involved in the incident.
Subsequently, in a dialogue with the population, he launched an appeal for justice for what is already regarded as a "massacre".
The approval by the Venezuelan government of the project "Arco Minero Orinoco", which establishes a mining national register, is considered the spark of this violence.
Mgr. Parra Sandoval wanted to go public with his demand for justice for these people through a video, published by the diocese on the Internet, in which he denounced that "the area is controlled by armed groups. The control is no longer from the State". Mgr. Parra appeals to gangs to stop the violence, calls for the intervention of the civil authorities, without violating the rights, to maintain order "in righteousness and truth". Finally, the Bishop hopes to find the bodies of the miners, to be delivered to their families, to give "a Christian burial to each". (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 03/11/2016)