(ANS - Medellín) - Since 28 April there have been street protests, marches and demonstrations in Colombia's main cities: sparked by the announcement of an unpopular tax reform, which was then withdrawn, the protests continued subsequently as critical towards the authorities for their management of the Covid-19 pandemic, which sees the country deeply affected and its health facilities in crisis. Faced with this situation, and above all following the clashes between demonstrators and the police, which have already caused 24 victims and over 800 injured, the Salesians of the Medellín Province (COM) have issued an official statement.
We, members of the Salesian Community, "St Luigi Bertrando" Province of Colombia-Medellín, acknowledge the difficult situation our country is going through, not only due to the public health crisis resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, but also, and more sadly, for the serious humanitarian emergency and the violation of the human rights of many Colombians, men and women, following the social mobilizations that began last April 28th.
In this difficult moment, we reaffirm our defense of non-violence and peace, as well as the full recognition of Human Rights and the inalienable value of the life and dignity of each and every person. We acknowledge and stand in solidarity with all our brothers and sisters who, exercising their legitimate right to protest peacefully, have been victims of abuse of all kinds.
We reject the outrages and violent actions that cause harm to others, as well as the indolence, indifference and silence of those who evade the obligation to denounce.
We support our recipients, parents and collaborators who have joined the voice of a nation that asks only for equity, justice and peace for all. We offer our works as spaces for reflection, consent and meeting, always in a free, respectful and democratic dialogue.
The values of the Gospel and the attitudes of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, motivate us to walk with our brothers and sisters in an action that does not spring only from empathy, but is clearly born of faith. This is what St. John Bosco teaches us with his Preventive System, to educate and evangelize in view of the formation of good Christians and honest citizens, especially the poorest and most excluded.
The Provincial and his Council,
Provincial Commission on Human Rights
Fr Luis Fernando Valencia
- COM COLOMBIA MEDELLIN