Catholic Bishops in Colombia Call for an End to Violence in the Country's Southwest

“A kingdom divided internally cannot survive; a divided family
can survive” (Mk 3, 24-25).

Given the worsening of polarization, threats, harassment,
extortions, attacks, murders and other acts of violence in the Valle del
Cauca and in a good part of southwestern Colombia, which leave
uncertainty, sadness, pain and death, creating fear and hurting the
hope in citizenship, the Catholic Bishops who accompany the
diocese of Buenaventura, Buga, Cali, Cartago and Palmira, we want,
forcefully, reiterate the call for these actions to cease.
In the name of the Lord we exhort those who plan and carry out these acts
insane, to become aware of the evil they do to the population and
even to themselves. Nothing justifies violence!
That is why with the apostle Saint Paul we tell you: “And as if God himself
exhort through us, we beg you in the name of Christ:
Reconcile yourselves with God!” (2 Cor. 5, 20).
We hear the cry of the population that feels overwhelmed and afraid
and, in his name, we call on the institutional authorities of
national, regional and local order, so that we join forces and be
creatives, together with civil society, in order to find the solutions that
lead to overcoming this disturbing and painful situation.
Close to COP 16 we see it as an opportunity to take actions
permanent measures that allow us to regain confidence in the promising future that
we have in front of us, because Valle del Cauca and Colombia have all the
possibilities to overcome adversity and be able to
show the world the inner strength that moves right hearts,
motivated by the search for the common good and the full development of all.
As a Church, we reiterate our commitment to continue accompanying all
efforts to foster bridges of dialogue that make it possible to achieve
pacification of hearts and silencing of weapons. “Blessed
those who work for peace because they will be called children of God” (Mt 5, 9)
The statement from June 14th was signed by the archbishop of Cali, Luis Fernando Rodríguez; the bishop of Buenaventura, Rubén Darío Jaramillo; Bishop César Alcides Balbín of Cartago; Bishop José Roberto Ospina of Buga; as well as the bishop-elect of Palmira, Father Rodrigo Gallego Trujillo, and the apostolic administrator of the same diocese, Bishop Edgar de Jesús García.