AMERICA/VENEZUELA - Cardinal Urosa’s appeal in the face of lynchings and widespread violence: "Do not kill"

Tuesday, 12 April 2016 bishops   violence   politics   poverty  

Caracas (Agenzia Fides) - The Archbishop of Caracas, Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino, yesterday published a letter, also signed by the four auxiliary Bishops, in which he condemned the lynching of criminals as sin. "With deep sadness and horror - he writes - we have learned that in recent weeks several lynchings of people occurred in Caracas. This is absolutely unacceptable, goes against the fifth commandment of God's law, which says not to kill, and is also a great injustice because minor offenses are punished with death and, sometimes, it takes away the lives of innocent people".
The text, sent to Fides, continues: "We understand that honest citizens and workers are angry about the impunity enjoyed by many criminals in the current situation. This is partly the responsibility of the various public bodies, which have the most serious obligation to protect the lives and properties of Venezuelans".
The text concludes with an urgent appeal to the Executive, the police and judges: stop the criminals and punish them according to the Constitution. The population is asked not be carried away by hatred and not to become murderers.
Venezuela is becoming in recent months not only the poorest country in America but also the most violent, because of local organized crime and armed groups that control some areas of the capital. There is no security on the streets. The same Cardinal Urosa had denounced corruption and violence a short time ago (see Fides 21/03/2016), but lately there have been cases of lynching to stop petty crime and the situation is deteriorating. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 12/04/2016)