AMERICA/COLOMBIA - "Hope and support" of the Episcopate for the one-month humanitarian truce of ELN

Wednesday, 1 April 2020 armed groups   violence   episcopal conferences   coronavirus   peace   pope francis  

Bogota (Agenzia Fides) - "A hope of relief for the Colombian people, especially for those who suffer the consequences of the armed conflict more severely": with these words the Bishops of Colombia accepted the announcement of a one-month unilateral ceasefire, from April 1, of the National Liberation Army (ELN), for humanitarian reasons related to the pandemic.
In this hour of trial and great suffering for all Colombians, the Bishops call on "all illegal armed organizations to stop all attacks, acts of violence, kidnappings, threats and extortions, including verbal violence".
"We join the urgent appeal of Pope Francis and the appeal of the Secretary General of the United Nations saying that the current health and social emergency requires stopping the dynamics of violence, in order to encourage humanitarian aid and the care of those who are in the most serious conditions of vulnerability. We extend this request for violence to end in families, since they are the first space in which the peace of society is cultivated".
In the declaration sent to Agenzia Fides, signed by the President, Vice-President and Secretary General of the Colombian Episcopal Conference, considering the current situation, we invite you to adopt the necessary changes for the common good, to overcome the difficulties "with responsibility , dialogue and unity of the nation". The Bishops conclude by expressing encouragement and support to the national government, so that it continues to work in order to create "spaces and scenarios for dialogue to continue the process of reconciliation, unity and peace in the country, with the support and commitment of all citizens". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 1/4/2020)