.- The Bishops’ Conference of Colombia has joined in the calls being made both nationally and internationally for the release of the hostages being held by the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC), because in addition to being deprived of their freedom, the hostages “are subjected to inhumane treatment and living conditions that conflict with the most basic demands of human rights.”
“We call on the FARC to respond to the call of the Colombian people and of the world and to accept our proposal for dialogue in order to establish a meeting zone that will allow the government and delegates of the FARC to agree to the terms of the release of the hostages,” the bishops said in a statement.
They also reiterated their willingness to promote, facilitate and assist in all efforts to bring about reconciliation in the country, adding that their position “is motivated by our faith” and the commitment of believers to human life, human dignity, respect for human rights, and above all, “the charity that obliges us to support those who suffer.”
Signed by the president of the conference, Archbishop Luis Augusto Castro, the statement also expresses concern for the deteriorating relations between Colombia and Venezuela and calls for diplomatic efforts to restore “good relations on the basis of mutual respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of each country.”
“We hope the country can someday enjoy peace, and we redouble our prayers that the Lord will bless us, protect us and help us to discover the paths that will lead our people to lasting, stable peace with social justice,” the bishops stressed.