DAILY CATHOLIC    WEDNESDAY     September 8, 1999     vol. 10, no. 170

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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REBELS APOLOGIZE TO POPE, REQUEST CHURCH-LED COMMISSION

        BOGOTA (CWNews.com) - The People's Liberation Army (EPL), Colombia's smallest guerrilla group who kidnapped Bishop Jose de Jesus Quintero, issued a statement on Monday apologizing to Pope John Paul II and requesting his support in the creation of a truth commission to probe human rights violations in the region.

        In a letter sent yesterday to the Colombian radio network Caracol, the rebels apologized to the Pope for kidnapping the bishop of Tibu, but called it "a desperate measure to attract the nation's attention" to what they describe as "the systematic murder of peasants by paramilitary groups logistically supported by the Army."

        The EPL also said in its message that they want the Pontiff's support for the creation of an international tribunal headed by the Colombian episcopate to probe human rights violations in the region. The message was sent with proof that Bishop Quintero and the other six people kidnapped by the EPL are alive and well.

        Hours after the statement was made public, Archbishop Alberto Giraldo Jaramillo, president of the Colombian Bishops' Conference, announced that an agreement was reached with the EPL for the "prompt release" of Bishop Quintero. In exchange, the bishops have agreed to head a humanitarian commission -- not an International tribunal -- that will include Archbishop Giraldo, the Bishop Gustavo Marin of Pamplona, as well as Americo Incaldaterra and Javier Hernandez, both delegates in the Bogota bureau of the UN High Commission for Human Rights.


Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

September 8, 1999       volume 10, no. 170
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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