AMERICA/COLOMBIA - The Bishop of Arauca appeals to ELN: "to make the peace process credible"

Tuesday, 26 September 2017 politics   armed groups   violence  


Arauca (Agenzia Fides) - "I want to launch this appeal to everyone, we must make the peace process credible, we must make people feel that all this is true, that the path that has been taken is true, that we are acting seriously": with these words Mgr. Jaime Muñoz Pedroza, Bishop of the diocese of Arauca, addressed the regional community and the entire Colombian community on 24 September. The request for a more firm commitment to peace was made by the Bishop commenting on the escalation of violence experienced at the weekend by the department of Arauca and in view of the definite ceasefire between the government and ELN (National Liberation Army ) in the coming days.
Mgr. Jaime Muñoz Pedroza is part of the group sitting at the meeting table in Quito, Ecuador, where there are talks about the definite peace between ELN and the Colombian government. "I hope this start of ceasefire and the end of hostilities are a first step, perhaps for now it is a small step, maybe very small, but if there are many steps, a path, a road are made and so one can reach a definite goal", says Mgr. Muñoz Pedroza to Radio Caracol.
"The situations we have always seen must change, we must respect the lives of all, the life of every human being, as Paul VI said, we must love everybody's life, every man is responsible for everyone's life" the Bishop of Arauca pointed out.
During the weekend, in the department of Arauca, two young people were killed, a police patrol was attacked with firearms and explosives, and two policemen were injured. All these actions, according to the police, are attributed to ELN guerrillas.
The Bishop of Arauca has always called for clear signs of peace by ELN in this particular moment of peace process (see Fides 27/02/2017). Mgr. Jaime Muñoz Pedroza belongs to the group chosen by the Colombian Bishops' Conference (CEC) to follow the peace talks between the government and ELN, since ELN right from the beginning had asked for the Church's accompaniment (see Fides 25/10/2016). The diocese of Arauca, along with others, was the scene of many episodes of guerrilla warfare by ELN for a long time. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 26/09/2017)