Bishops from dioceses along the U.S. - Mexico border are meeting March 1 – 3 to discuss the issues of border security, violence, discrimination and human rights violations against immigrants.
At the meeting located in El Paso, Texas, Bishop Alonso Garza Trevino of Piedras Negras, Mexico noted that the bishops share “pastoral concerns for the well-being of our families and our society.”
He lamented the suffering of the innocent, especially among immigrants, because of “the dynamic of criminal violence that weighs upon our communities.”
“Due to the lack of security, people who live on the border in Mexico and want to attend weddings, baptisms and other sacramental celebrations on the American side with their family members who live there, are afraid to cross the border,” he continued.
“This is happening a lot, and we hope to come to an agreement on the establishing of some norms.”
Bishop Garza said bishops from southern Texas have expressed their prayerful support for Mexico as it confronts the problem of violence, but they fear coming to the country because of the negative comments they receive. U.S. border patrol agents discourage people from crossing the border into Mexico precisely because of the violence, he said.
“Unfortunately we are in a bad situation and we need to do something about it together as a society, as a government, as a Church,” the bishop concluded.
The latest statistics indicate that during the last five years, 34,000 people have been killed in Mexico due to organized crime and drug trafficking. Officials expect the numbers to rise as the country struggles to deal with the widespread violence.