Asuncion (Agenzia Fides) – "Social Peace, fruit of justice and conversion of heart", is the title of a text issued yesterday by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Paraguay CEP, denouncing "grave acts of criminal violence" in the country. "Our conscience will not allow us be indifferent or indolent in the face of such a situation. These facts damage the fraternal human society and weaken the foundations that guarantee social peace " reads the missive sent to Fides.
The statement, dated 28 November, concerns certain recent events of violence made public by government media. The facts include the shooting dead of a Brazilian entrepreneur working in the timber trade who had trouble with financial matters. The video of the execution, left in a cell-phone next to the cadaver by the guerrilla group Ejército del Pueblo Paraguayo EPP, was mentioned by the Home Minister in a report on 200 acts of terrorism perpetrated by the same group in 2018.
"We are shocked, scandalised, horrified but we must ask ourselves if these facts are perhaps a symptom of even deeper moral and social difficulties" - the bishops write- "many already identified, diverse causes: injustice, impunity, machismo, socio-environmental imbalance, week ties in family and society, consumerism, media diffusion of violence ..." continues the analysis of the bishops which goes further than the fact of violence by the EPP.
Only three days ago in Asunción, there was a march against violence on women. Thousands shouted "Stop! We will not be silenced, we will defend women!”. On the same day the Head Office of the national Security Ministry "Dirección de Políticas de Seguridad Ciudadana", issued a report on violence against women in Paraguay which is increasing: in 2016 cases of domestic violence reported were 30,000, whereas in 2017 the number was 41,661.
This is why the bishops of Paraguay affirm in their statement: "among the human communities affected by moral deterioration there is also the family.... To heal and strengthen peaceful co-existence and promote the reduction of violence we must work for social equity to guarantee all citizens, especially the most vulnerable, access to all-round medical care, quality education, dignified jobs, housing aimed to guarantee conditions of dignified, healthy living".
"We therefore call on all citizens, all Catholics and people of good will – conclude the bishops- to work seriously to promote personal change of heart in individuals, communities and ecclesial communities, and to work tirelessly for social justice and peace in Paraguay".
(CE) (Agenzia Fides 30/11/2018)