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Attack in Bogota: Mgr. Castro Quiroga (Bishops’ President), “backlash from the enemies of peace”

“It is an act against peace, an act against all forces that are struggling to overcome our country’s history. This is a backlash from the enemies of peace, from those who somehow wish to continue living in a state of war”. The President of the Colombian Bishops’ Conference and Archbishop of Tunja, Mgr. Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga, said this in the wake of Saturday night’s terror attack which killed three people and injured 9 more at the Andino shopping mall in Bogota. The attack plunged the country back into fear just a few days before former FARC fighters were expected to lay down their weapons. Julie Huynh, a French national who had been in Bogota for six months volunteering at a school in a poor neighbourhood, was also among the victims. The young woman was in the shopping mall located in the Chapinero district, one of the wealthiest and safest in the Colombian capital.
Interviewed by the Catholic broadcaster BLU Radio, Mgr. Castro said: “I would like to show my solidarity with the victims and their families. I pray for them and for the country to reflect on what has happened. I invite all Colombians to strongly work for reconciliation and to cultivate the ability to forgive so as to build a homeland of brothers and sisters who love one another, not of people who are wolves to one another”.
The president of the Bishops went on to say: “It would be imprudent to rush to blame anyone for what has happened. We should let the authorities investigate who is behind all this”. And most importantly, “we should continue to build a peaceful Colombia”. The National Liberation Army, another guerrilla group that is supporting the peace talks in Quinto, was initially suspected to be responsible for the attack. The organisation, however, has strongly rejected this accusation. Although the Colombian Bishops have not yet released any official statements, they have expressed their “solidarity and support” to the people and families involved on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

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