.- The Bishops' Conference of Venezuela has expressed concern over the "growing" insecurity, scorn for life, and violence that exists in the country, and has demanded that the government guarantee fundamental rights and transparent regional elections in November.
In a message at the conclusion of their 38th Extraordinary Plenary Assembly, the bishops also stated that in the context of the current global financial crisis, "the enormous spending of the nation’s resources on the purchase of arms" is unjustifiable. Venezuela "is anxious for peace," they said.
The bishops also criticized the government for imposing norms that were rejected by voters during a referendum in December of last year. The new norms "contain unconstitutional aspects and grant greater control to the executive branch over numerous areas of the country's life, in detriment to people and to institutions, and they rein in multiple social and political rights of citizens."