The bishops of Colombia denounced a terrorist attack outside the Caracol Radio building this week in Bogota, which left 18 people wounded and caused extensive damage. They also reiterated their call for an end to violence and for dialogue as the path to peace.
On Thursday morning a car bomb exploded outside Caracol Radio. The station said it believed FARC was behind the attack. Local police have so far detained five suspects.
On the same day, the Bishops’ Conference of Colombia announced the 2010 Week for Peace, which will take place in September, but Bishop Juan Vicente Cordoba Villota said, those behind the attack do not seem to want peace. The prelate invited members of FARC to embrace conversion.
“We invite them to change their hearts of stone for hearts of flesh; their hearts of hatred for hearts of love, their hearts of violence for hearts of forgiveness, reconciliation and reparation,” the bishop said.
Bishop Hector Fabio Henao Gaviria, the director of the National Secretariat for Social Ministry, called the incident “an act of terror” that was intended to have an impact on the public. However, in reality it reveals the incapacity of many in society to engage in a dialogue for peace, he said.
“We resolve our differences through dialogue and discussion, not through acts of terror,” Bishop Henao stated.
Father Dario Echeverri Gonzalez, the general secretary of the National Reconciliation Commission, called the incident “sad and troubling, but something that must become an incentive for those of us convinced that the endeavor of peace is more productive.”
“Let us decisively oppose those who think that the path of violence and war is the most productive,” he added.
Father Echeverri called on all Colombians to work for peace so that “the country will see that those of us on the team for peace constitute the majority. I think this is very effective.”