Fearing the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) might “celebrate” the 40th anniversary of their uprising with violence, the bishops of Colombia are asking the group to seek new paths to peace.
“The best celebration which they could have would be to give a sign of hope, a sign of love to Colombians by freeing their hostages,” said Cardinal Pedro Rubiano Saenz, Archbishop of Bogota.
Several bishops have spoken out saying the FARC should offer a gesture of good will instead of celebrating their 40th anniversary with terrorist acts.
Meeting in the Colombian capital, the bishops said the last 40 years of have been sterile and have brought nothing but mourning to Colombia.
Archbishop Luis Augusto Castro of Tunja, who has been a negotiator with the guerrilla group, was emphatic: the path taken by the Colombian guerrillas 40 years ago has led to nowhere.
He called on FARC leaders to be participants in an authentic transformation: “begin the next 40 years with a political commitment, rather than a commitment to violence.”
At the same time, military and police forces intensified their patrols in the country in order to prevent any attacks.