At the beginning of the Week for Peace – September 1, 2018 – which coincides with the first anniversary of the Pope’s visit to Colombia, the president of the Social Pastoral for the Episcopal Conference of Colombia and of Caritas, Mgr. Héctor Fabio Henao, urged the need to continue peace negotiations with ELN (National Liberation Army) and expressed concern regarding the murders and threats against social leaders.
“This is the thirty-first edition of the Week for Peace which is a pedagogical exercise and a reason for social consensus in which several organizations of different kinds meet. What we want in this week is a very strong reflection on the commitment of civil society, of all Colombians, on the construction of peace and its sustainability”, said Mgr. Henao in an interview with Radio RCN, sent to Fides News Agency.
“The message is that we have to continue to bet on peace and put the strength that this exercise requires… we are facing a very serious, important bet, and we must see the progress we are making in different sectors committed to the political solution of the armed conflict”.
“Among the big bets for this Week for Peace is to completely unlock all that is needed for the release of all the people who have been kidnapped and whose family and the Colombian society expect to see free as soon as possible – continues Mgr. Henao -. That is why during this Week for Peace, we expect the announcement to continue dialogues with ELN. Through the Episcopal Conference, the Church has reiterated its willingness to contribute to these processes of peace and reconciliation in Colombia, and will continue to do so”.
The Colombian Church is increasingly committed to promoting peace and reconciliation. The National Committee of the National Council of Peace, Reconciliation, and Cohabitation, at the end of 2017 had requested the collaboration of Mgr. Héctor Fabio Henao. The National Committee is an executive body of the decisions of the National Peace Council. One of its functions is the planning and implementation of the Program of reconciliation, coexistence, and prevention of stigmatization, with the participation of local authorities. One of the other tasks of the Committee is to encourage and articulate the exercise of education, peace, reconciliation, and coexistence.