Cardinal pleads for calm among Bolivians

.- The Archbishop of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Cardinal Julio Terrazas Sandoval, has called for a cease to “the discourses of death and of confrontation” between Bolivians and for an openness to dialogue in order that a solution may be found to yet another violent conflict in the country.

“Unfortunately, I think we are not taking it seriously that blood, even if it is only a little that is spilled, is not absolutely necessary in order to understand each other as brothers, in order to achieve solutions for the country’s problems,” he said in reference to the conflict in Camiri, where residents are rioting for “true nationalization” of the country’s natural gas industry, leaving several people injured.

Cardinal Terrazas called for a respect of the commitments both sides have made in the dispute and for a return to the rule of law, “in order to avoid any conflict of trust.”  

“How nice it would be,” he said, “if those injured by injustice would contribute with that which is proper to the people: wisdom, not violence, rationality, not intemperance in word or deed,” the cardinal stated.

He said that while the faithful can not ignore injustices and tragedies which occur in the country, “what is required is that of us are ready to share with those who are suffering.”  The mission of the Christian, he continued, is to watch over others, to recover the sense of solidarity.

After eight days of strikes in Camiri, the government of Evo Morales reached an agreement with local leaders, partially giving in to their demands.

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