.- The Colombian daily âEl Tiempoâ revealed on Holy Saturday that a crisis that could have ended in an open conflict between Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela was averted by Colombian President Alvaro Uribe confiding the situation to the intercession of Mary under the three different titles by which she is the countryâs patroness.
The crisis between Colombia and its southern (Ecuador) and northeastern (Venezuela) neighbors started On March 1, when Uribe ordered a military raid into Ecuador's territory against a rebel camp used by Marxist guerrillas to launch terrorist strikes. The raid targeted and killed the No. 2 FARC rebel leader, Raul Reyes.
In response, Ecuadorâs President Rafael Correa cut all diplomatic relationships with Colombia. Venezuelaâs Hugo Chavez, Correaâs political ally, ordered a massive military surge to the Colombian border as well.
Quoting Fr. Julio SolÃ³rzano, Chaplain of Colombiaâs Presidential Palace, El Tiempo revealed that on March 5, when the rhetoric and blames between the presidents was increasing tensions, President Uribe called for a Rosary to pray for the end of tensions.
The Rosary, prayed at the Presidential Palaceâs chapel, was dedicated, upon Uribeâs request, to the Marian to Our Lady of Chiquinquira, Our Lady of Coromoto and Our Lady of Mercy, respectively the patronesses of Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador.
Uribe invited all officials at the Presidential palace to the Rosary, as well as the minister of Defense and the Interior.
âFor believers âEl Tiempo wrote- the prayer was more than effective, since only two days after the presidents of the three countries shook hands during the Group of Rio summit, and for many the crisis was over.â
In fact, on April 7, at the Dominican Republic summit, the three presidents vented their differences, but agreed to stand down after Colombia apologized for the raid.
âThe President is a man of faith, he always carries with him a wooden Cross and a Rosary. I have heard him pray several times in the motorcade or on the presidential airplane.â âHe always tries to be coherent with his faith in his work, pleasing God with what he does,â Fr. SolÃ³rzano was quoted by the âEl Tiempo.â