A church to commemorate the victims of the violence.
For decades now, and until quite recently, Colombia has been living through a continuing nightmare of violence, with ongoing conflict between the police and army, paramilitary groups, drug cartels and guerilla movements. And although the situation has become much calmer in recent years, there is still widespread corruption, and thousands of internal refugees now swell the numbers of the urban poor. Many Colombians lost family members or themselves experienced violence during the unrest, while others were tortured, murdered or abducted, in many cases never to be seen again.
In the new parish of Medellin del Ariari, established only in 2013 in the diocese of Granada, there is now a plan to build a new church in which the memory of those who died here since 1980 will be especially commemorated. It will be a place of memory, but at the same time also of healing, reconciliation and peace. The families of the victims will be offered particular pastoral and psychological support and the central focus will be on the respect for and protection of life – values that were so trampled upon in the past. No fewer than 700 families were expelled between 2002 and 2006 from the area where the parish now stands and only around 40% of them have since returned. The time has come to rebuild the social structures and the sense of confidence in life and to lay the foundations for a better future. The three Claretian Fathers working here are committing all their energies to ensuring that this new parish will be a place where human life is established on a firm foundation and protected.
ACN is helping for the construction of the new church, with a contribution of 30,000 Euros.