The Bolivian Bishops’ Conference expressed support this week for the Apostolic Vicar of Pando, Msgr. Luis Casey, who rejected the government’s violation of the fundamental freedoms committed of twelve people soldiers detained in the state of Pando.
According to Bolivian media, twelve people were detained and taken to La Paz, where they were accused of involvement in the deaths of fifteen government sympathizers during the confrontations that took place on September 11 last year.
The Bolivian opposition criticized the detentions for having been carried out by soldiers during the dark of night and without any court order. Among those detained are journalists and local officials from the city of Porvenir.
In response, the bishops of Bolivia retorted that the country is subject “to the rule of law and to the corresponding legal norms” and that “nothing can justify the means used in these acts.”
They called on the government to “protect the integrity of those detained and guarantee that the investigations into who was responsible for the actions be legal.”
“The reconciliation and unity of the people of Pando should be the fruit of true dialogue and the correct administration of justice and not of heavy-handed measures and violence that leads to more confrontation.”
The bishops expressed their solidarity with “the family members of those detained” and said they hope “peace and tranquility will finally return to this state.”