Note Expressing Solidarity with the Bolivian People
Tired of seeing the drug trafficking activities taking place freely, the community of Bella Vista de Iténez, Bolivia, reacted in recent weeks. This activity is engaging the youth in drug trafficking, stimulating prostitution and threatening the future of children and adolescents. According to local information, from the Department of Beni alone thirty daily flights depart with a load of 500 kilos of cocaine to Brazil and Paraguay.To draw the attention of authorities and the international community, religious and lay people from the city of Bella Vista, took a plane carrying drugs to the central square to draw attention to the problem. This event provoked the drug traffickers who started to give death threats to the local leaders.
To support this prophetic action and to save life the Network of Congregations of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Latin America and the Caribbean, the JPIC Commission of the Congregations of Saint Joseph and the UN CSJ published a Note of support and solidarity to the Bolivian communities who are asking for help from the world to ensure a dignified future for the youth, protection of the lives for local leaders and for local and national authorities, to take concrete measures to combat the action of drug trafficking. See the full Solidarity Note.
Solidarity with the Bolivian people
Dear and valiant Christians, religious, laity and Bishops of Bolivia,
The reaction of the people of Bella Vista del Iténez in recent weeks against the extensive activity of drug trafficking fills us with motivation and life expectancy with respect and dignity on our continent. Death threats represent the power of the weak who do all types of wrong things to economically benefit from illicit, illegal and immoral activity.
The placement of a small aircraft in the Central Square recalls the figure of Jesus Christ when he expelled the thugs who occupied the sacred place to exploit the people. The Christians of Bella Vista demonstrate their fidelity to the Gospel, before those who explore the sacred place of life and the dignity of the Bolivian people.
The unscrupulous and the criminals are not just the barons of drug trafficking and drug production in Bolivia, the recipients, traffickers and consumers in Brazil, Paraguay and around the world are also accomplices in the notorious exploitation. The Bella Vista people\┤s initiative is also a cry from the international community against a system that is stealing the lives of children and young people.
The President of Rede Ecclesial Panamazônica-Bolivia, Bishop Eugênio Coter, expressed, “this denunciation belongs to a people, an entire community”. It is the world community that demands a severe action from the authorities to combat this illegal activity.
The Commission for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation of the Congregations of Saint Joseph of Latin America and the Caribbean and the Team of the Family Network of Saint Joseph of Latin America and the Caribbean and the NGO, CSJ, UN express their solidarity with the religious, the laity, the bishops and to all the Christians for the courageous attitude of denouncing the illicit activity of drug trafficking.
At the same time, they demand that Bolivia\┤s local and national authorities take urgent measures to curb this activity that has international disapproval and represents an international discredit for the Bolivian authorities. They also demand protection for the community and people threatened with death by national security agencies. The lack of action of the Bolivian authorities\┤ is closely monitoring by the international community.
May the spirit of the Risen Lord, keep alive the flame of hope in a world of equity, sustainable development, justice, solidarity and peace. May the people of Bella Vista have at their side the divine strength to face the irresponsibility and immorality of those who threaten the Bolivians with death, to defend the life and dignity of the Bolivian people.
June 29, 2020