Mexican Bishops Assail Drug-War Violence

Statement Also Laments Corruption

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MEXICO CITY, JULY 8, 2005 ( Mexico’s bishops issued an urgent statement to their country’s people and government, lamenting the rampant violence, especially along the U.S. border.

The note, signed by Bishops José Martín Rábago and Carlos Aguiar Retes, the president and vice president of the Mexican episcopate, respectively, rejected the growing spiral of violence and social disintegration generated by organized crime.

«We condemn the culture of death promoted by the traffic and consumption of drugs, the harboring of corruption and impunity which has damaged the state of law, creating vacuums of power that threaten to open the doors to unruliness, and still worse, have robbed citizens of confidence in public security and the possibility of justice," said the Mexican bishops.

The note came after consultations at the episcopal conference’s general assembly.

The statement appealed to governmental authorities to improve and coordinate their efforts against organized crime. The bishops called on lawmakers and judges for laws and sentences that would effectively battle crime.

Bad year

The bishops proposed a culture of life and the strengthening of the family.

«Without families that are strong in communion and stable in their commitment,» they said, «nations are weakened and are easy prey to the evils that destroy the person.»

Drug-related violence has worsened this year in Mexico. In early June the new police chief of the border town Nuevo Laredo was slain hours after taking the oath of office.

More than 80 people have been killed in Nuevo Laredo this year amid a battle between rival drug gangs vying for control of smuggling routes into the United States.

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