In a new document on the upcoming general elections which will be held in September, the bishops of Guatemala have issued an urgent call to Guatemalans to overcome the temptation to avoid the pools and to refrain from voting for candidates linked to drug trafficking.
In the document, the bishops point out that with elections less than a month away there is “little enthusiasm” for the crop of candidates and election issues that voters will chose from at the polls. They also call on the Supreme Electoral Tribunal to investigate and resolve “the accusations circulating of possible fraudulent actions,” and they denounce “the deplorable violence and lack of security that we Guatemalans experience daily.” “There have already been too many cases of candidates for local office who have been killed, and cases of politicians receiving death threats are also well-known,” the bishops state.
The bishops call on “all Catholics and all men and women of good will to prayerfully and seriously discern how and for whom they will vote in the elections of September 9.” “Abstaining,” they continue, would amount to “indifference and social irresponsibility.”
“Voting for candidates who are suspected of being linked to crime and to drug trafficking would be in itself a morally incorrect action and, in the best of cases, would be seriously irresponsible, and in the worst, clear complicity,” they warned.
“Denying them one’s vote is important but giving it to them would be a serious weight upon the conscience of a voter,” the document points out.
“At this moment of such transcendence for our country we commend our nation to God our Lord and we ask Our Lady of the Rosary, patroness of Guatemala, to extend her mantle of protection over all her children and especially over the citizens called to exercise their civil duty at the polls,” the message concludes.