Bishop of Buenaventura Raises Alarm for High Murder Rate in Diocese

Colombian Prelate Calls for End to Violence

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The bishop of the Diocese of Buenaventura, Colombia, has denounced the high number of homicides within his diocese.

“The intervention of the State at the beginning was very strong, and should not diminish. What has happened shows how evil has more creativity than law itself,” said Bishop Héctor Epalza Quintero, P.S.S, according to a note sent to Fides Agency by a local source reporting on the prelate’s words.

From the beginning of May until June 7, at least 10 people were killed, and the bodies of two of them were dismembered. One of the dismembered bodies, discovered on 3 June, was that of a 17-year-old boy who had been reported missing.

The bishop has repeatedly denounced the violence in the region. Home to 400,000 residents, Buenaventura is considered to be Colombia’s deadliest city, caught amid conflicts between rival criminal groups.  Tens of thousands have fled the area over the past three years, and some 150 have reportedly disappeared.

Bishop Epalza said that “this horrible evil of violence and kidnapping for murder has not yet been eradicated.”

He added, “There are people who continue in their myopia and believe that nothing has happened. They must be very blind not to realize that the reality of Buenaventura is still critical and needs a lot of attention.”

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