AMERICA/BOLIVIA - Explosion at the entrance to the headquarters of the Bishops' Conference

Thursday, 25 November 2021 abortion   violence   episcopal conferences  

La Paz (Agenzia Fides) - The General Secretariat of the Bolivian Bishops 'Conference (CEB) reported the explosion of a bomb, which occurred early in the morning of Wednesday 24 November, at the entrance to the building that houses the headquarters of the Bishops' Conference, without causing consequences to people, but only damage. Father Ben Hur Soto, CEB Secretary for Pastoral Care, issued a statement entitled "Peace be with you" (Jn 20:19). "Although the material damage to the structure is repairable - says the statement sent to Fides -, we urge those responsible to consider that their action could have harmed innocent people. As a Catholic Church, we call once again for respect for life and for a fraternal encounter between brothers and sisters". The CEB also released images from a security camera showing a person depositing an artefact at the entry door and then disappearing, while the detonation took place 20 seconds later. The person activating the explosive wears a suit similar to those used for pandemic biosecurity, has his head covered with a hood, and uses synthetic gloves. While there is no indication or claim as to the origin of the attack, many believe it was the result of the controversy surrounding the Bolivian Church's position on the recent case of an 11-year-old girl who became pregnant as a result of violence. The Bishops urged the authorities to respect and protect the right to life of the child victim of violence, as well as that of the pregnant child, because "both lives must be protected". They also recalled that "no one can be forced to abort, even given the seriousness of sexual violence, because abortion is a crime in Bolivia". On October 27, a group of demonstrators who claimed to defend girls who were victims of violence and challenged the position of the Church, gathered in front of the CEB headquarters and painted the walls. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 25/11/2021)