Bolivian Landslide Prompts a Papal Note of Sympathy

Mining-Town Tragedy Kills 15, Leaves Hundreds of Houses Buried

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 1, 2003 ( John Paul II expressed his solidarity with the people of the mining town of Chima, in northern Bolivia, where a landslide buried several hundred houses.

The landslide of Pucaloma hill caused 15 deaths and numerous injuries. An untold number of people are still unaccounted for.

In a telegram sent today by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, to Bishop Juan Vargas Aruquipa of Coroico, the Pope assures his prayers for the deceased and his sympathy for their relatives.

Expressing his spiritual closeness to the injured and homeless, the Holy Father appealed to public institutions and people of good will to give effective assistance to those affected, «with the charity and spirit of fraternal solidarity.»

Following is a translation of the Holy Father’s telegram.

* * *

Monsignor Juan Vargas Aruquipa
Bishop of Coroico

Having been informed of the landslide of Pucaloma hill on the mining population of Chima, which has caused numerous victims and wounded, His Holiness John Paul II offers prayers to the Lord for the eternal repose of the deceased and requests Your Excellency to express his sincere sympathy to their relatives, as well as his sentiments of paternal spiritual closeness to the wounded and those who have been deprived of their home, at the same time requesting the public authorities and persons of good will to give solicitous effective assistance to those affected with charity and a spirit of fraternal solidarity.

With these sentiments, and by way of Christian consolation, the Holy Father imparts to those affected and to those who assist them in such painful circumstances the comforting apostolic blessing.

Cardinal Angelo Sodano
Secretary of state of His Holiness

[Translation by ZENIT]

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