Bogotá, Colombia, Nov 9, 2012 / 16:06 pm
The Diocese of Santa Rosa de Osos in the Colombian province of Antioquia has condemned the massacre of 10 farm workers at the end of their work day by unknown assailants.
According to local media, on Nov. 7 the men were finishing their day when they were cornered by a group thought to be members of a criminal gang called "Los Rastrojos."
A few days earlier, members of the gang threatened farm workers because the owner of the farm refused to pay the gang extortion money.
The group of assailants threw a grenade at the men and then shot them with long-range rifles. One of the farm workers survived and is being treated at a local hospital.
The Colombian government has offered a $28,000 reward for information on the massacre, which has terrorized residents in the town of Santa Rosa de Osos.
Bishop Jorge Alberto Ossa of the local diocese issued a statement on Nov. 8 condemning and lamenting "the vile and inhumane act in which a group of defenseless farm workers from our diocese were murdered."
He called on officials to defend the lives and rights of local residents and demanded that "these acts of barbarism not go unpunished."
Bishop Ossa called on those responsible for the killings to a conversion of heart and offered sympathy to the family members of the farm workers.