.- The Secretary of the Bishopsâ Conference of Colombia, Bishop Fabian Marulanda of Florencia, expressed regret Wednesday at the decision by the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) to reject the bishopsâ proposal for a pre-dialogue with the government in order to iron out differences over a humanitarian agreement that would lead to the release of many hostages.
The proposal, which was endorsed by President Alvaro Uribe, was rejected in a statement released by the FARC on the internet. The rebel group claimed Uribeâs acceptance of the plan was just a way for him to put another obstacle in the path towards an agreement. The FARC expressed thanks to âthe Church and to the president of the Colombian Bishopsâ Conference in particular, Archbishop Augusto Castro, for their enormous effort for the release of all prisoners of war,â adding that, âwe wish to encourage them to redouble their efforts in that sacred mission.â
âThey vouch for the good intentions of the Church,â Bishop Marulanda said, âbut in the end they reject the proposal with the excuse that, having been endorsed by the president, they consider it an obstacle to progress on the path to peace.â