Quibdò (Agenzia Fides) - The department of Chocó is one of the Colombian territories most affected by the scourge of violence (see Fides, 10/6/2020; 13/1/2020). The Bishops of the dioceses of Quibdó, Istmina-Tadó and Apartadó, together with the social and ethnic-territorial organizations, have published a new statement in which they once again denounce "the difficult moment we are experiencing due to the systematic denial of rights and violation of international humanitarian law". In the context of the Week of Peace, which is celebrated in Colombia from 6 to 13 September, they denounce the effects "that the lack of State presence causes on our people and on the territory, the increase in attacks by armed groups and the corruption that slows down the community development".
They therefore express solidarity "with the brothers and sisters of our territories and other regions of Colombia", who are plagued by the assassinations and intimidation of leaders, women leaders and communities, by the recruitment of minors, by the installation of anti-personnel mines, by exploitation of young people and women, imprisonment, kidnapping, extortion, targeted assassinations, displacement, loss of community autonomy and territorial disputes for economic and political interests.
Faced with this dramatic situation, "we will continue the task of accompanying the communities to make them feel the closeness of civil society - they reiterate -. Despite the multiple attacks of the violent and the silence and exclusion of the State, we will let them know that they are not alone and that they have someone who listens to them and defends them". They therefore announce that as from September the missions of continuous humanitarian monitoring, accompanying and verification within the territories will resume, "to listen, document and make visible the various situations that hinder the effective enjoyment of the rights of the communities". Finally, they will support the "Pact for Life and Peace", which will be signed on 10 September 2020, which "will be like an instrument that gathers our thinking and our transformative actions". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 8/9/2020)