The Catholic Church in Mexico has expressed its support for dialogue with criminal gangs in the face of impotence on the part of authorities.
In yesterday’s issue of the church’s weekly publication Desde La Fe, the Archdiocese of Mexico endorsed the efforts of a bishop in Guerrero to engage in communication with gang members.
In an editorial titled “El país se desangra,” or “The country is bleeding,” the church notes the positive results obtained by the bishop of the diocese of Chilpancingo-Chilapa, Salvador Rangel Mendoza, who has declared that narcos in Guerrero are not like those found in northern states.
“I just call them farmers,” he said in March.
The archdiocese believes the church should promote peace agreements with criminal elements because the authorities have proven themselves incapable of guaranteeing security for the public.
The article recalled that in recent weeks violence has given no respite, leading to bloodshed in different regions of the country.
In the absence of authorities’ ability to control crime, “it is necessary that actors of moral repute come forward and obtain agreement on, for the least, some terms for peace and security . . . .”
Desde la Fe praised a meeting on May 28 that Rangel held with gangsters to reach “an agreement regarding what authorities no longer guarantee: public safety.”
Those meetings, the editorial declared, have annoyed the authorities, “who have brandished a triumphalist discourse, claiming everything is going well, that there are no problems or difficulties, when deep down what they are after is to conceal the truth.”
It said the clergy cannot escape the current “horror,” which is something that “wasn’t even seen during the communist era or in religious persecutions.”
The church said many priests are victims of extortion by criminals, through which they are allowed to continue celebrating the Catholic rites.
“Many priests in remote towns are easy targets and live under the great pressure of organized crime, which impedes them from performing their evangelist mission and forbids them from even mentioning the term ‘drug trafficking’ or questioning the immoral acts [of those involved in that activity]; doing otherwise would cost them their lives.”
Source: Milenio (sp)