Loading
Church offers mediation between gangs and government in Colombia

.- Bishop Julio Cesar Vidal Ortiz of Monteria, Colombia says he is confident the Catholic Church can help bring about the eventual surrender of the criminal organization, Bandas Criminales.

Monteria is located 500 miles north of Colombia's capital city of Bogota.

Bishop Vidal said the members of Bandas Criminales, known as BACRIM “do not want a situation similar to that of Mexico, they only want the Church to help them open a channel of surrender to the government.” The bishop spoke to reporters during the 90th Assembly of the Bishops' Conference of Colombia, which will run until Feb. 11.

BACRIM brings together a number of criminal organizations in the country that are strongly linked to drug trade, including the mafia, paramilitary groups and street gangs that formed after the dismantling of the United Self-Defenses of Colombia in 2006.

The United Self-Defenses was a vigilante organization founded to oppose terrorist groups like FARC and the National Liberation Army.  Its most well-known leader is Carlos Castano, who was killed in 2004.  Under his leadership, the organization carried out massacres across Colombia, occupied lands and engaged in the drug trade. In 2006, it began a process of dismantling an accord with the Colombian government and international organizations.

Bishop Vidal said he has not met with leaders of BACRIM, but that they have “sent communications and have often expressed their desire that the Church help them surrender to the government with dignity.”

He said confronting crime and the drug trade demands a comprehensive response, involving the military and the police. “But this needs to be accompanied by proposals to vindicate rural residents, allow them to improve their lives and have access to education,” the bishop said.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
16

Liturgical Calendar

April 16, 2014

Wednesday of Holy Week

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 26:14-25

Gospel
Date
04/16/14
04/14/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Is 50:4-9a
Gospel:: Mt 26:14-25

Homily of the Day

Mt 26:14-25

Homily
Date
04/16/14
04/14/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: