.- This weekend the Colombian Bishops Conference began mediating between oil workers of the state-run Ecopetrol, and political leaders and experts in the field, in order to bring an end to the strike that is affecting the company.
Cardinal Pedro Rubiano Saenz of Bogota and President of the Bishops Conference asked those participating in the discussions to maintain an atmosphere of civility, dialogue and tolerance, so that a solution can be found for the good of the country.
Bishop Jaime Prieto Amaya of Barrancabermeja recalled that the objective of the discussions is to provide a broad, democratic and pluralistic debate, in which all parties will analyze immediate solutions to the strike.
Bishop Prieto expressed his hope the talks would be sensible and effective and that they would satisfy the legitimate interests of all parties concerned as well as serve the common good.
The intention of the talks is to achieve an agreement that will put an end to protests by union workers who have been on strike for more than two weeks, rejecting a government decision to divide Ecopetrol into two companies.