The Archbishop of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, Cardinal Julio Terrazas Sandoval, called on the government and farmers, who have occupied four ranches, to find a peaceful solution to the crisis in order to avoid further violence.
Last weekend a group of 200 farmers began occupying lands located in Santa Rosa de Sara. During the confrontations, at least six people were wounded.
"This has been a problem for some time and it must be resolved. Violence never achieves anything, I hope that dialogue will bring us what we need soon," the cardinal said.
The farmers claim that the owners of the lands took possession of them illegally.
According to the latest information, the government’s Public Ministry is to decide whether or not to use force to remove the farmers from the lands. This has some local leaders concerned that such a move could lead to an outbreak of violence. The director of Bolivia’s National Institute for Agrarian Reform, Roberto Torrez, called on the farmers to use legal means to resolve the problem, because "that is what the law is for."