AMERICA/MEXICO - The bishops of Tierra Caliente and Chiapas: violence and insecurity are destroying the Mexican people

Friday, 29 September 2023

Morelia (Agenzia Fides) - "The State of Michoacán is a violent State with a history of increasing violence with clashes between criminal gangs, some of which seem to be involved with the authorities." This is what the Archbishop of Morelia, Carlos Garfias Merlos, told Fides Agency about the context of insecurity and terror that has raged in recent years in the State of Michoacán. “The situation is particularly serious especially in the areas identified as Tierra Caliente, here on the Huetamo side, central Mexico, in specific localities such as Aguililla, Comán, Tepalcatepec, Zamora, Morelia,” explained the prelate. Among the initiatives of the Archdiocese of Morelia, Bishop Garfias claims to be especially involved in caring for victims, in relations with civil society and authorities at all levels, in training and in education for peace. Just a few months ago, regarding the murder of a priest from Morelia, the Archbishop, responsible for years of the National Plan for the Construction of Peace, had launched a new call for dialogue and peace in the face of the current situation of violence not only in the archdiocese, but in other places in Michoacán and the country. “Human values, love, trust, respect and solidarity have been lost; God has been expelled from public spaces, giving rise to a disintegrated humanity, lacking anthropological foundations and with a strong predatory tendency,” is how the prelate had expressed himself on that occasion. “As bishops we have mobilized with different instruments to promote peace, and that has been the objective from the beginning,” said Garfias Merlos, who as representative of the Catholic Church in Michoacán, is also a member of the Michoacán Council for the Search of Peace and Reconciliation, which brings together religious authorities, businessmen, academics and civil organizations. “We carry out educational models in schools, families, neighborhoods and workplaces to generate a culture of dialogue, reconciliation, mediation in the resolution of conflicts and the construction of peace,” stated the Archbishop of Morelia. “People themselves are instruments to create conditions of peace in relationships with others. If we can have peace ourselves, then we can formulate an attitude of peace with others and help them to also be instruments of peace,” he concluded. Garfias Merlos' complaint is joined by that of the bishop of San Cristóbal de las Casas, diocese of Chiapas, Rodrigo Aguilar Martínez, about the state of siege and blockades imposed by drug traffickers: "southern Mexico is ravaged by violence", he affirms, and urges to act promptly “to stop the situations of violence and insecurity that are destroying the lives of Mexicans,” which fuels food shortages, lack of medicines and medical care. (APM/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 29/9/2023)