AMERICA/PERU - Turning protests into constructive dialogue: the Archbishop of Arequipa's plea

Wednesday, 2 August 2023

Arequipa (Fides News Agency) – "Remaining united in our faith in Christ in the face of ideologies", with these words the Archbishop of Arequipa, Javier Del Río Alba, urged the people of Peru during the recently concluded ‘Fiestas Patrias‘ celebrations, which commemorate the country's independence from the Spanish Empire which took place on 28 July 1821. This is the event most anticipated by the entire population in July. "The Christian faith, shared by almost all Peruvians, calls us to unite so that Peru should not be a battleground between ideologies that do not take into account the real needs of the people or, that it should not be just a bounty to be divvied up by the few," said the archbishop in a speech for the occasion.
Bishop Del Río mentioned the difficult historical moment that the country has been enduring for over 5 years, with a deep political crisis that now sees the latest president elected in a general election, Pedro Castillo, in pre-trial detention as he is being investigated for conspiracy, following his failed attempt to dissolve Congress on December 7, 2022, and the revolts led by civil movements and unions demanding the resignation of Vice President Dina Boluarte - now president - the dissolution of Congress and the changing of the Constitution. "The protests must be transformed into a constructive dialogue that will allow us to join forces to overcome the inequalities that still exist among us" – the prelate insisted. "The culture of death, as Saint John Paul II called it, which today Pope Francis calls the culture of waste, is after our homeland and wants to dilute it in a globalization of indifference and idolatry of money, power and pleasure. All Peruvians belong to the same people, forged by centuries of history. Let us, therefore, contribute to the common good of the nation. We will all win if we unite in a common plan for our country, one in which nobody feels left out".
(AP) (Fides News Agency 2/8/2023)