.- Bishop Jesus Juarez Parraga, SDB, of El Alto, Bolivia, warned in a pastoral letter this week that the legitimate demands of the country’s different regions for autonomy should not divide the country.
The bishop decided to publish the letter after the Civic Committee of the Santa Cruz Region, which is usually in conflict with the Bolivian capital, threatened to declare autonomy. In response the government convened elections for regional governors, normally appointed by the president, to take place on June 12.
“In no way should the regional demands for autonomy break us apart as the Bolivian people,” Bishop Juarez said in his letter.
“It is true that we all want our demands to be heard and heeded, but they should always be presented with tolerance and in a spirit of dialogue,” he added.
Bishop Juarez called on both the government and on the civic committees not to provoke people with “false expectations that lead to even deeper divisions.”