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Migrants and desaparecidos in Mexico: Msgr. Guardiola (CEM), “We cannot keep quiet, but we also want to act”

“We cannot keep quiet, but apart from speaking we also want to act”. Msgr. Alfonso Gerardo Miranda Guardiola, Secretary General of the Mexican Episcopal Conference (CEM) and Auxiliary Bishop of Monterrey was resolute: interviewed by SIR on the reaction of the Mexican Church to the spiral of violence affecting the country. Tragic toll of the people killed (priests and journalists, above all), the disappeared, and of violent acts. Drug trafficking is the cancer of society. Following last year’s journey of Pope Francis, “the whole Church is asked to speak up”, said Msgr. Miranda, recalling CEM, Pastoral Departments, and single bishops. He said: “We have activated an Observatory for each of the two big issues we are mostly concerned with: migrants and missing persons. A few reports say at least 30 thousand people missing, in twenty-five years”. Most of them never identified, and buried in mass graves.

Apart from the denunciation, the Church of Mexico intends to carry out pastoral projects to support victims of violence and their relatives: a “National Project for Building Peace”. Archbishop of Morelia Msgr. Carlos Garfias Merlos, in charge of the “Justice, Peace and Reconciliation” sector of CEM is taking care of such project. He asked for a Peace Pastoral Plan for each diocese: priest training, listening centres, and making “networks of peace-building entities: Church, Government, civil society, professionals…”. Dialogue of the church with the government is important.” We are going to celebrate the 25th anniversary of recovery of relations between Government and Church”. As for migrants, Msgr. Miranda pointed out the “very good work relations of bishops from Mexican or US cross-border dioceses”. “We don’t know what they said to each other”, was the comment to the meeting of the Pope and Trump. “We only know that we must go on operating in defence of the dignity of migrants”.

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