.- Archbishop Ruben Salazar of Bogota, head of the Colombian bishops' conference, insisted that the local rebel group FARC put an end to the decades-long civil conflict in the country.
âLet them lay down their weaponsâ and âstop with the excuses,â the archbishop told reporters on Feb. 6.
In a statement issued on Feb. 7, the FARC attempted to justify its latest attack which left seven people dead on Feb. 2 by saying its members are âdefendersâ of the people. It blamed the killings on Colombian soldiers who it claims âuse the people as their shieldsâ and therefore âforcedâ the rebel group to strike back.
Archbishop Salazar voiced confidence in his remarks to the press on the measures being taken by President Juan Manuel Santos, who met with the bishops this week during their plenary assembly.
âWe need to believe in President Santos and that the FARC could at some point take steps towards peace,â he said.
On the rebel group's latest statement, Bishop Juan Vicente Cordoba, secretary of the Bishopsâ Conference, said Colombians should not accept another drop of blood to fall upon the country.
Bishop Cordoba said both the FARC and the Colombian army should review their military objectives to keep from harming the civilian population which opposes the violence.