Arica (Agenzia Fides) - About 700 Venezuelan emigrants, including children of all ages who urgently need attention, pregnant women, sick people exposed to bad weather, were left stranded on the border between Chacalluta and Santa Rosa, Chile's northern border. Entry into the country was denied to them due to the lack of documentation and they are therefore forced to live in a deplorable situation.
The Bishop of the diocese of San Marcos de Arica, which is the northernmost diocese of Chile, Mgr. Moisés Atisha, accompanied by the vicar general, Mauricio Cáceres, and by father Beto, at the head of Incami (Instituto Católico Chileno de Migración) Arica, went to check on the situation of these Venezuelan brothers and sisters.
"We spoke with the authorities of the central and local government – reports the note of the diocese sent to Agenzia Fides -, but the most important thing was to listen to the stories of those affected, and to pray with them, and find humanitarian solutions with concrete gestures". On the same day of the visit, the government authorized the entry of Venezuelan families with minor children into Chile. Mgr. Atisha accompanied the movement of families on the buses to the Chilean consulate in Tacna, expressing the intention of the diocese of San Marcos de Arica to contribute to a solution. The diocese includes the provinces of Arica and Parinacota in the homonymous Region.
"The migratory reality in the world must be understood from the beginning of humanity – reads the note of the diocese -, and constantly challenges us as a society in search of the keys to ensure the dignity proper to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In this way we put into practice what the Gospel tells us: "I was a stranger and you welcomed me ..." (Mt 25:31)".
The diocesan Church of San Marcos de Arica, through the pastoral care of migrants, therefore launched an appeal to "double our actions in this situation of humanitarian emergency that we are experiencing today, through a campaign of collaboration with the Venezuelan migrant brothers". Aid (water, diapers, fruit juices, milk ...) will be collected at the San Marcos school in Arica. "We thank the evangelical and solidarity attention towards our Venezuelan brothers", concludes the text of the diocese. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 27/6/2019)