AMERICA/CHILE - "I am a facilitator of dialogue, nothing more", says Mgr. Vargas Bastidas

Tuesday, 12 July 2016 indigenous   politics   bishops   violence  

Temuco (Agenzia Fides) - Despite the criticisms that have emerged in recent days, with regards to the dialogue table which has begun in Araucanía to address various problems of the area, the Bishop of Temuco, His Exc. Mgr. Héctor Eduardo Vargas Bastidas, SDB, defended his role as representative of the Catholic Church and stressed that among the participants "there is a lot of communion".
One of the main criticisms highlighted, according to information sent to Fides, is the absence of some of the realities of the region, such as the Association of Municipalities with Mayor Mapuche (AMCAM), who by noting the lack of some representatives of the Mapuche universe, refused to participate.
In this context, the Archbishop pointed out: "we must assume that all sectors will never agree on the composition of a committee of this nature. Groups such as this cannot be very large, with the aim to strengthen exchanges and dialogue". Mgr. Vargas also defended his presence: "The role that I have right now, and that of the Catholic Church, is just to be a facilitator of dialogue within and outside the dialogue table. Nothing more" . He added that "this is a role that the Church cannot refuse".
Last Thursday, 7 July (see Fides 08/07/2016), the first session of these talks were held, which officially now bear the name of "the Advisory Commission of the President of the Republic for La Araucania" (Comisión Asesora Presidencial para La Araucaní ), which will meet every 15 days. "We immediately organized ourselves on the methodology, on the method of work and we have identified the activities for a second meeting. The people at the table are enthusiastic and there is a great spirit", said the Bishop. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 12/07/2016)