MARY, OUR MOTHER

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

AMERICA/COLOMBIA - The Holy Father prays for peace in Colombia, the Church continues to promote dialogue


Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - After yet another armed confrontation between the army and rebels, a few days ago, where 4 prisoners of the FARC were killed, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the Holy Father Benedict XVI learned with sorrow this tragic news and called for an end to violence in Colombia. The Embassy of Colombia to the Holy See sent the following note to Fides: "The Holy Father is saddened by this tragic news, he prays for the families of the victims and for the beloved people of Colombia at this time of suffering and calls for an end to violence".
According to the Minister of Defense of Colombia, Juan Carlos Pinzon, the FARC rebels have killed four prisoners in a field in the region of Solano, in southern Colombia, shortly after taking command of the guerrillas on behalf of the new leader, Timoleon Jimenez. Alfonso Cano, who had led the FARC since 2008, died on November 4, in a clash with government forces in Colombia.
The official report says that three of the hostages were police officers and the fourth was a soldier, Jose Libio Martinez, the oldest prisoner of the FARC, captured 14 years ago in a guerrilla attack against a military base. Two of the three policemen were taken prisoner by the guerrillas for more than 13 years. A fifth hostage was found alive.
In his first message since he has taken over the leadership of the FARC, Timoleon Jimenez told the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, "we must all die". Pope Benedict XVI has launched several appeals for peace in Colombia since the beginning of his Pontificate, and the local Catholic Church has always shown its willingness to encourage a path of peace and dialogue between all armed groups in the country (see Fides 08/11/2011). They are numerous initiatives of the Church to form peace and create a common understanding for peaceful coexistence in the country (see Fides 14/10/2011, 13/09/2011, 12/08/2011, 03/08/2011). (CE) (Agenzia Fides 29/11/2011)


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