Archbishop Constancio Miranda Weckmann of Chihuahua is urging Catholics in Mexico “to seek out reconciliation and forgiveness through all means possible” in order to end the violence plaguing the country.
Archbishop Weckmann explained in his Christmas message released Dec. 16 that Christmas is the season of “peace” and “hope.” It is a time in which “we turn our eyes towards the manger in Bethlehem to encounter Jesus who brings peace to the earth,” he continued.
The “bloody acts of violence” that have become widespread in the country cannot be solved just by the creation of more jobs, improved education and increased police presence, the archbishop noted. Rather, “the spiritual force within each person must be activated to overcome the threats to human dignity,” he said.
Since Mexican President Felipe Calderon took office in 2006, violence caused by the drug cartels in Mexico has left 30, 196 people dead. In 2010 alone, 12,456 were killed.
According to Jose Antonio Ortega Sanchez, president of the Citizens’ Council for Public Security and Penal Justice, one of the states most affected by the violence in Mexico is Chihuahua, where crime has risen 600 percent in the last three years.