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New Colombian archbishop offers mediation

The new Archbishop of the Colombian diocese of Cali - whose predecessor was assassinated - has condemned kidnapping as the worst crime against humanity and has offered to mediate the release of deputies of the country's Cauca Valley and other hostages.

In his first media interview since his appointment at the weekend, Archbishop Juan Francisco Sarasti Jaramillio also called for the Colombian government and guerrillas to be more flexible so that new ways towards peace can be fully explored.

"We are surfeited of the ways of violence and beyond being necessary, it is urgent to try other ways for peace," said Archbishop Sarasti. "The Catholic Church will continue to journey toward peace, a peace that must come from man's heart".

The new head, a native of Cali, succeeds Isaias Duarte who was killed in March this year as he got into his car after celebrating Mass. It is thought the late Archbishop's murder was a consequence of his outspoken opposition to guerrillas and drug trafficking in Colombia.

Outspoken Colombian archbishop murdered (18/3/02)
Diocese of Cali
Archbishop Juan Francisco Sarasti Jaramillo, C.I.M.
Vaticano designů Arzobispo de Cali (El Pais) | translation

Independent Catholic News

21 Aug 2002