AMERICA/COLOMBIA - Reopen the border to live as brothers: difficulties in the negotiations

Wednesday, 18 May 2016 politics   area crisis   armed groups   bishops  

Cucuta (Agenzia Fides) - It was a bad surprise for the governor of Norte de Santander (Colombia), William Villamizar, and the Bishop of Cúcuta (Colombia), His Exc. Mgr. Victor Manuel Ochoa, to be stopped at the border with Venezuela when they tried to cross the border on Monday, May 16.
After waiting near the Simon Bolivar international bridge, which connects the Colombian municipality of Villa del Rosario to San Antonio Venezuela, the governor of the region received a call from (Venezuela), José Gregorio Vielma Mora in the state of Tachira, who apologized for the block and announced the cancellation of the meeting, scheduled for the afternoon of Monday 16 in the city of San Cristobal. The purpose was to develop a draft of the document between border departments for the reopening of international bridges (see Fides 01 and 03/09/2015).
"Governor Vielma, informs me that the Registrar has authorized the meeting only for next Thursday", said the governor of Norte de Santander, respecting the decision of the Venezuelan government, as informs the note sent to Fides by Radio Caracol.
Meanwhile the Bishop of Cúcuta, His Exc. Mgr. Victor Manuel Ochoa, together with Mgr. Mario del Valle Moronta, said they are working for coexistence and the restoration of relations between the two countries: "the proximity between us is what the Church asks to work as brothers on the same border ... reconciliation, this is our invitation in order to speak, to seek dialogue and respect for the rights of all", said the Colombian Bishop. The two Bishops met, as was expected (see Fides 12/05/2016), to continue to work together with the same goal. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 18/05/2016)