.- About 5,000 individuals involved in organized crime in Colombia have expressed a willingness to turn themselves in to police. They have asked for the assistance of the Church to do so.
“There are some 5,000 individuals, and this requires some logistics. The government needs to assure them that certain rights are going to be respected: where this will take place, who will take custody of them, where they will be going once they surrender,” Bishop Julio Cesar Vidal of Monteria, Colombia said.
Bishop Vidal noted that the persons in question are not interested in negotiations but rather that the Church finds a way for them to discuss surrendering.
According to EFE news agency, among the large group wanting to surrender to authorities are two of Colombia’s most wanted men who have been key leaders of the drug cartel, Javier Antonio Calle and Maximiliano Bonilla.
“Many of these individuals have told me they know that people won’t believe there are so many, but that their surrender would be great news and a surprise for the world, although they acknowledge that ‘this is not easy.’ They say, ‘We are at war but we are working toward our goal of surrendering’,” Bishop Vidal said.