The Peruvian bishops' conference recently lamented “the manner in which the electoral campaigns are being carried out.” The bishops called on Peruvians to show respect and tolerance as the June 5 presidential runoff election approaches.
“We call on the candidates and voters to ensure that anti-democratic conduct, violations of human rights, unwarranted nationalizations, corruption, threats against freedom of expression, and development models that only cause poverty and pull the country back, do not occur again,” the bishops said in a May 26 statement.
The statement came as supporters of both candidates in the runoff election have recently engaged in heated confrontations.
In the city of Cajamarca, members of Ollanta Humala’s party threw eggs at his opponent Keiko Fujimori while she was speaking to group of her own supporters gathered to celebrate her 36th birthday on May 25.
On the other hand, supporters of Fujimori stood outside Humala’s home the same day with megaphones shouting insults against the presidential candidate, even though he and his wife were not there at the time.
“This is the time to think about the comprehensive development of our entire nation and not just about the benefits for certain individuals or groups,” the bishops' statement continued.
They also urged the media to be unbiased in their reporting, as “all citizens deserve respect and truthful information.”
The bishops reiterated their defense of life and the family and their commitment to collaborate “with the country in its historic, cultural and moral development.” They emphasized that the Catholic Church has always played an important role at all levels of society, “especially with the poor and in the most remote places of Peru.”
“Let us invoke God to enlighten voters and candidates in this runoff election to build a better country in democracy and respect for the rule of law,” the bishops said.