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Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Bolivia: Church to mediate between government and protesters
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 The Bolivian Catholic Church on Friday night accepted the request of President Carlos Mesa to act as mediator between the government and campaigners who have been staging massive protests for nearly two weeks in the capital La Paz and other cities. The protesters are making a number of demands including regional autonomy and the nationalisation of natural resources. Bolivia is the second largest producer of oil and natural gas in Latin America - next to Venezuela, but also has one of the highest levels of poverty on the continent. On Thursday evening, President Mesa asked for the Church to intervene, after the Bolivian Episcopal Conference (CEB) issued a joint pastoral ecumenical pastoral letter: "Pónganse todos de acuerdo" (all come to accords), addressed to politicians and community leaders, with the Evangelical, Methodist, Lutheran, Pentecostal and Presbyterian Churches, calling for all to work for peace and reconciliation. The announcement was made in an official statement read by CEB Secretary General Monsignor Jesús Juárez. On Friday 60% of Bolivian roads were blocked by demonstrators. In the capital La Paz, the Missionary News Service reported that there were beginning to be fuel and food shortages. Source: MISNA
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