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Colombia: Bishops Deplore Terrorism and Violence

In Wake of Bombing at National Police School

The Episcopal Conference of Colombia (CEC) strongly rejects the recent terrorist act that occurred at the “General Santander” National Police School in Bogotá, which caused 21 deaths. At least 68 people were injured, according to the latest updates, reported January 18, 2019, by Fides News Agency.

“Total rejection of all forms of terrorism and violence. We cry and continue to seek peace through dialogue, reconciliation, and social justice. Solidarity with the national police and the families of the victims.” These are the sentiments expressed by the Archbishop of Villavicencio, Oscar Urbina Ortega, President of CEC, in a note sent to Fides.

According to information released by the Colombian authorities and local media, yesterday morning a man, José Aldemar Rojas Rodriguez, showed up at the entrance of the Police School, where a ceremony was being held for the decoration of officers and cadets, who was driving a van full of explosives. A dog detected explosive substances, and the agents asked the driver to get out of the van but instead accelerated, and the van crashed, which exploded against a building.

The Secretary-General of CEC, Mgr. Elkin Fernando Álvarez Botero, Auxiliary Bishop of Medellin said: “The Church’s appeal is to unite in a peace project for the Country and to combat terrorism. This means total rejection and the awareness that forms of violence do not solve anything. We are dismayed and we offer our prayers for the victims and the whole country. Terrorism is a path to death, horror, destruction. Nothing is achieved with violence and terrorist actions.”  He reiterated: the attack was unanimously condemned, at a national and international level.

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