Violence and drug trafficking in Latin America, present in Pope Francis’ Via Crucis

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The violence of the guerrilla warfare in South America and the drug trafficking that terrorizes Central America are at the center of two of the 14 meditations that Pope Francis dedicated to the Via Crucis on Good Friday, which is celebrated this Friday evening at the Colosseum in Rome. The pontiff finally canceled his presence to preserve his health due to the expected cold in the capital of Italy.

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Francisco, who from his residence in the Vatican will follow the rite to recover from the recent bronchitis that led him to hospitalization for three days, wanted the fourteen stations of the rite to describe this year what he calls the “Third World War in pieces “. , with a survey of the dramas of the world.

At each station along the route, the intervention of the victims of some tragedies such as forced migration in Africa, the war in Ukraine and religious conflicts in the Middle East.

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On behalf of Latin America, a young man from Central America spoke at the third station and a mother from South America, who will take over at the fourth stop.

“We young people want peace. But we often fall, (…) Laziness, fear, discouragement and even the empty promises of an easy but dirty life, made up of greed and corruption, throw us to the ground”, begins the young man.

His meditation asks: “This is what makes the spirals of drug trafficking, violence, addiction and exploitation of people grow, while many families continue to mourn the loss of their children, and the impunity of those who scam, kidnap and kills has no end. How to get peace?”

Faithful accompany the Via Crucis, at the Colosseum in Rome, this Good Friday.  Photo: REUTERS

Faithful accompany the Via Crucis, at the Colosseum in Rome, this Good Friday. Photo: REUTERS

And finally he mentions, in Spanish, the word “commitment”, necessary to take the reins of life in search of peace and say “no” to other false commitments that kill it.

Group drama

Next, a South American mother will tell the drama of living under the action of the guerrilla.

“In 2012, the explosion of a bomb planted by the guerrillas destroyed my leg,” recalls the woman.

“What terrified me the most was seeing my seven-month-old daughter, covered in blood, with so many pieces of glass stuck in her face. How it must have been for Mary to see Jesus’ face deformed and bloodied!”, she continues.

Even so, the mother asks not to get carried away by “anger and resentment,” as she found that “spreading hatred created more violence.”

“I understood that many victims needed to discover (…) that one cannot live with resentment. So I began to help them: I studied to teach how to prevent accidents caused by the millions of mines scattered”, completes his reflection.

The Via Crucis, a tradition every Good Friday at the Colosseum in Rome.  Photo: AP

The Via Crucis, a tradition every Good Friday at the Colosseum in Rome. Photo: AP

One Ukrainian and one Russian, for peace

The war in Ukraine is present again this year: last year a Ukrainian and a Russian woman carried the cross together in one of the stations, which sparked complaints from the Ukrainian embassy in the Vatican.

On this occasion, the tenth station meditation was co-written by a young Ukrainian and a Russian.

The Ukrainian recalls when he fled with his family from Mariupol in Italy, where his grandmother lived, but soon after they decided to return, as his father had been recruited by the army.

“Here the situation continues to be difficult, there is war on all sides, the city is destroyed. But in my heart remained that certainty that my grandmother told me when she cried: ‘You’ll see, everything will pass. help, peace He will return’,” she begs.

For his part, the Russian admits that he speaks “with a sense of guilt” and recalls when a letter informed his family of his brother’s death: “Everyone told us that we should be proud, but at home there was so much suffering and sadness. “

Source: EFE

Source: Clarin

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