Vatican City, Oct 15, 2003 / 22:00 pm
At the conclusion of his general audience yesterday, Pope John Paul called for "civil dialogue" and "reasonable solutions" to resolve the crisis in Bolivia, where dozens of people have been killed and hundreds injured in clashes with the military.
The Pope told the crowd of 16,000 thousand gathered in St. Peter's square that "the news from Bolivia, where a serious crisis has resulted in death and injury, is cause for great concern." "I wish to express my spiritual solidarity with those who are suffering, and I invite everyone to pray that the Lord will inspire
those involved to engage in civil dialogue and to work for reasonable solutions to the country's problems based upon the rule of law," the Pope said.
For more than three weeks the government of President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada has faced increasing protests by opposition groups against a proposal to export natural gas.