AMERICA/CHILE - Assembly of Bishops concluded: concern over the violence in Araucania

Monday, 11 April 2016 indigenous   politics   episcopal conferences   local churches  


Punta de Tralca (Agenzia Fides) - Particular concern for the violence in Araucanía and an appeal to collaborate in first person in the building of a better life was expressed by the Chilean Bishops in their concluding message of the 111th Plenary Assembly, held in Punta de Tralca from 4 to 8 April.
During a press conference held at the end of the meeting, on 9 April, the leaders of the Catholic Bishops' Conference presented their final message. Although the Bishops addressed several social issues of current affairs, the document emphasizes one in particular.
"The Chilean reality is marked by a busy schedule of legislative reforms and initiatives - says the message - many are necessary for the common good, other prejudicial against the most important of human rights: the right to life of every human being from conception to natural death. We will continue to promote it with humility and with the strength of the testimony of many women who choose life".
Another issue concerns public ethics, the relationship between money and politics, and the disappointment caused by the outcome of several court cases. In this regard, the Bishops’ text argues that "transparency and justice are indispensable for coexistence, but also respect for dignity, serenity in the reactions and the search for the common good".
The Bishops express their grief over the escalation of violence that caused the death of Mapuche people and others, and between police forces (see Fides 05/04/2016). Arson attacks have severely damaged families and workers; have caused damage to homes, schools, transport, agriculture and means of production.
"When essential values are not respected for the existence of believers, such as the right to human life, safety and their sacred spaces, the soul of these people is wounded.
These facts are condemned by most of the population", say the Bishops.
The "slowness of the state and governments is also alarming and incomprehensible, in their duty to seek effective solutions to this situation. A solution starts from the acceptance of the legitimate aspirations of the Mapuche community, which for more than a century have been demanding justice in the face of situations of violence, dispossession, contempt for their identity, culture, organization, and also to the invisibility and poverty in which they have been confined". The Bishops therefore urge the authorities and leaders to look for ways to work together for "a new Araucanía, through an urgent justice for all". (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 11/04/2016)