AMERICA/ECUADOR - A truce to start dialogue and get out of the crisis: The bishops offer themselves as observers of the process

Friday, 24 June 2022

Quito (Agenzia Fides) - Ecuador is going through several crises: an economic crisis (with lack of work, education, food, health care, housing, aggravated by human trafficking, drug trafficking, arms trade) ; a social crisis, due to insecurity and discontent that undermine peaceful coexistence; a political crisis, which on many occasions has not responded to the great aspirations of the population, favoring the interests of a few; an ethical crisis in all areas of public and private life, expressed especially by corruption; an ecological crisis that seriously endangers the common home due to unregulated mining and environmental pollution. The picture of the situation was made by the Bishops of Ecuador, during the press conference they held yesterday, June 23, in Quito, on the "Day of Prayer for Dialogue and Peace" in the Latin American country, devastated by ten days of violence and clashes (see Fides, 22/6/2022). The Mass, presided over by the President of the Episcopal Conference, Msgr. Luis Cabrera, and concelebrated by some Bishops of Ecuador, was broadcast on the Church's social networks. "These and other crises challenge us to seek, in a realistic, courageous and creative way, the best solutions that benefit all the peoples and nationalities of our country, particularly the great impoverished and excluded majorities of society," the bishops stressed in the meeting with journalists. In this search, dialogue is the "more intelligent and fraternal" path, which must involve the government and the indigenous and social movements. "Interpreting the sentiment of the majority of Ecuadorians who desire and want peace - the Bishops continued - various civil society organizations propose to the Government and social movements and organizations, a truce, based on concrete commitments and accompanied by observers and guarantors highly credible, both nationally and internationally, that the parties deem appropriate".
In order for this truce to be possible, the Bishops propose a series of commitments: a direct channel of dialogue between the government and the indigenous movements; suspension of all acts of violence; the creation of zones free of conflict, where peace is guaranteed; the immediate resumption of food deliveries throughout the country; and during the dialogue, access to basic services and health care. "We offer ourselves as observers of this whole process" underline the Bishops, who during the press conference also proposed a "Humanitarian support, peace and dialogue promotion campaign" involving all social and academic sectors, in a broad and pluralistic way. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 24/6/2022)