AMERICA/COLOMBIA - The Bishop of Cucuta invites the ELN to peace talks

Monday, 21 March 2016 violence   bishops   armed groups   geopolitics  


Cali (Agenzia Fides) - The Archbishop of Cali, His Exc. Mgr. Dario de Jesus Monsalve, announced yesterday, through social media, that in the coming hours Corporal Jair Villar Ortiz, who had been kidnapped in the city of Segovia (Antioquia) in early February by a group of guerrillas belonging to the ELN (National Liberation Army) will be released. The military will be handed over to representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Catholic Church.
According to a note sent to Fides, the Bishop of the Diocese of Cucuta, His Exc. Mgr. Víctor Manuel Ochoa, has appealed to the ELN for a definitive cease-fire, an end to violent actions, the liberation of the kidnapped soldier and participation in the peace talks with the Colombian government.
Mgr. Ochoa stressed the invitation to reconciliation and social change, taking the path of respect and tolerance, where families play an important role in the growth and development of society.
"I appeal to the ELN, in particular, to be part of this process - the Bishop said -. We know that this is a group that has defended farmers and workers with a spirit that one can criticize, but always with the intention to uphold justice and fairness. I invite you to participate in this effort, you are responsible for building a peaceful future". (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 21/03/2016)