AMERICA/MEXICO - The Bishop of Acapulco and tradespeople’s appeal: "No more murders!"

Saturday, 2 April 2016 violence   local churches   bishops   drug trade  


Acapulco (Agenzia Fides) - "Brothers of organized crime (...) we kindly ask you to give us a few days without violence" said Laura Caballero, president of the largest association of traders of Acapulco, who together with the Bishop of Chilpancigo- Chilapa (Guerrero, Mexico), His Exc. Mgr. Salvador Rangel Mendoza, OFM, launched an appeal to criminal leaders for a truce in the war among drug gangs that has caused a high number of murders in the area.

The businesswoman has also convened a meeting with state officials, members of the federal government and social leaders on April 13, in order to draw up "a proposal for peace". Acapulco has become the epicenter of the violent spiral that is affecting Mexico and has caused as many as 42 murders during Holy Week alone.

The Bishop of Chilpancigo-Chilapa recalled that he has been asking the government to "talk to the gangs". "During my visits to the parishes of the region, I have always asked criminals to seek harmony, forgiveness and prevent murders and kidnappings. The leaders of the gangs know how to fix things among them", said the Bishop.

Acapulco, the second largest city of the state of Guerrero, on the Pacific coast about 450 kilometers from Mexico City, has for decades been one of the favorite destinations of Mexican and foreign tourists for the beauty of its bay, for its natural characteristics and its excellent tropical climate. Today's "insecurity crisis" caused by the war between criminal gangs is similar to that of 2006 when people did not go out to the streets for fear of stray bullets.

Although the government has sent 4,500 members of the police, this has not reduced the number of murders. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 02/04/2016)