Archbishop Jose Domingo Ulloa of Panama City recently denounced a proposal to legalize the death penalty in the country.
“We cannot counteract violence with violence. There are other means,” the archbishop said according to the AFP news agency.
Representative Marco Gonzalez of the ruling party in Panama previously announced a proposal to legalize the death penalty in the country. He claimed it would end widespread violence in the region.
Gonzalez said he plans to move forward with his proposal in the coming weeks and is calling for lawmakers to debate the measure.
His announcement came after the discovery of five Panamanians of Chinese origin who were found buried together in a mass grave. Police suspect they were murdered by a man from the Dominican Republic.
Archbishop Ulloa instead called for tougher and stricter prison sentences and he called on the government to “clarify its security policy.”