The secretary general of the Bishops’ Conference of Colombia, Bishop Fabian Marulanda, expressed his hope this week that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s request for the FARC to release all of its hostages “reflects a sincere desire on his behalf and a change of mentality not only” in Chavez “but also in many other people who in one way or another have been involved in acts of subversion.”
Bishop Marulanda made his comments on Radio Caracol. He said Chavez’s remarks that guerrilla movements are not justified right now in Latin America were “sensible and rational.”
Bishop Marulanda went on to stress that the bishops’ conference would continue to work for the release of the hostages held by the FARC, but he did not give further details. “In this the Church has exercised great discretion and reserve. Just as there are other policies in the sense of publicizing whatever is said or done, the Church considers it preferable to maintain discretion in this,” he said.
Representative Mauricio Lizcano, a member of the ruling party in Venezuela, said Chavez understands that there is a new policy in the world related to groups such as the FARC, paramilitary groups and terrorism. Let’s hope the FARC understands and listens to this request from President Chavez.”