AMERICA/COLOMBIA - Armed attack against two pastoral workers: reflection of violations of civil society

Monday, 3 July 2023

Bogota (Agenzia Fides) - "Every act of violence in our territories is a call for more commitment on our part. We must not postpone the goal of a reconciled and peaceful Colombia", said Omar Alberto Sánchez Cubillos, Archbishop of Popayán and Vice President of the Bishops' Conference of Colombia (CEC), on the attack on a vehicle where there were two pastoral workers. According to the country's bishops, the incident occurred in the early hours of Sunday, July 2, in the territory of the municipality of Caldono (Cauca). The vehicle carrying Deacon Fredy Muñoz, who will be ordained to the priesthood next month, and his collaborator Eider Bototo, both from the parish of San Lorenzo de Caldono, were attacked by an armed group as they were leaving a religious service in the parish of the village of La Esmeralda. The Archbishop of Popayán described the injuries suffered by the victims of the attack, which fortunately are not serious, as a reflection of those of the entire civil society of Cauca, "where the residents are constantly victims of this armed violence that goes beyond all principles of rationality and respect of international humanitarian law". According to the prelate, this attack is a sign of the escalation of the conflict in the area. Despite the tragic circumstances, Msgr. Sánchez confirms the unwavering commitment of the Catholic Church in Colombia to work towards reconciliation and peace. Meanwhile, the Institute for Development and Studies on Peace (Indepaz) and the Association of Indigenous Authorities in the region also condemned the act of violence. The UN delegation in Colombia expressed its deep solidarity with the Catholic Church, which is recognized as one of the most important global institutions in building peace and reconciliation in the areas of the world where it operates. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 3/7/2023)