AMERICA/PERU - The Church in Lima fights drug trafficking among young people

Thursday, 22 February 2018

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Lima (Agenzia Fides) - Drug trafficking is not an extra threat to society, it is the main threat. In Peru, this plague moves figures above 3 billion dollars a year and "the problem grows every day", says to Agenzia Fides Marilú de Cossio, founder and president of "Mundo Libre", the only formal therapeutic community for the street children of Peru. In this situation, the weakest point is the family, given that one third of families do not have a paternal figure. Delinquents take advantage of the affective deficiencies of problematic families to involve younger members in the sale of drugs, with precise strategies to enter schools and poor neighborhoods and, therefore, captivate new consumers.
Faced with this scenario, the Archdiocese of Lima has activated itself in the promotion of the family, which is the foundation of every society. The 20th Archdiocesan Synod of Lima, in 2015, proposed the creation of "Centers for the promotion and orientation of the family and defense of life" in every parish, and today they are a reality in many of them. From the conclusions of the last Synod, Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani, Archbishop of Lima, underlined in his last Pastoral Letter: "it is necessary to have a family pastoral care organized in each parish, to accompany family the members in all stages of life", thus re-echoing the call of Pope Francis in "Amoris Laetitia" for a pastoral care focused on the Gospel of the family.
Marilú de Cossio, who has been working in the rehabilitation and reintegration of street children for over 30 years, offering them a wide and comfortable space, with the presence of professionals, through holistic treatments, tells Fides: "It is important for us to recover them at a spiritual, psychiatric and psychological level. The Bishop of Lurín, Carlos García, sends us seminarians and catechists every Saturday to prepare the children to receive the sacraments of initiation". Affirming that 89% of the young people who follow the complete rehabilitation program overcome this problem, explains: "Today they are company administrators, lawyers, mechanics, technicians, among others. It is true that not everyone can save themselves, but it is worth making every effort".
He therefore comments with satisfaction that over the past few years 2,500 minors have been reintegrated in a situation of abandonment.
According to the "National Commission for Drug-Free Development and Life", about 70 thousand people per year start to use marijuana in Peru. Likewise, in the Ministry of Health's latest report of 2017, it was noted with concern that the consumption of drugs among young people between 19 and 24 years of age increased significantly between 2010 and 2015. (D.B.) (Agenzia Fides, 22/02/2018)