Carmelo Martinez: “We unceasingly pray for justice and peace in Cajamarca.”
The Peruvian Episcopal Conference–which has among others three Augustinian Recollect bishops as members–convoked last July 24 a interreligious chain of prayer for dialogue and peace. The vigil was held in Lima, the capital of the country. Politicians and religious leaders of all confessions participated in it. The bishop of Cajamarca, Carmelo Martinez, insisted in the necessity of prayer so that such dialogue with God may illumine the right path to attain justice and peace among men and women of his people.
The Augustinian Recollect bishop of Cajamarca explained in the official website of the Order of Augustinian Recollects: “In Cajamarca, we unceasingly pray for justice and peace. Since October 2011 and until mid-December of the same year, during an indefinite general strike in Cajamarca, I myself with another priest had the opportunity to pray for peace in Cajamarca and to dialogue with many persons and communities of the whole diocese, taking advantage of the confirmation campaign.”
Bishop Martinez Lazaro recalls also that he had presided in the Church of the Franciscans a Eucharist for peace, life and justice in Cajamarca. “It was in November during the height of the crisis, and it was something massive. Many priests were present and the faithful filled the Church.”
Next to him was the Augustinian Recollect Fortunato Pablo, Bishop of Chota. Accompanied by many priests, religious sisters and the faithful of the diocese of Cajamarca, he presided the procession of the Corpus Christi at the Armas Square and offered the Mass in the Cathedral for peace and justice in Cajamarca.
Msgr. Martinez Lazaro joined different campaigns, pronouncements and events organized by different parishes and institutions, especially by the Peruvian Episcopal Conference, “searching for this desired end.” Likewise, he has written and declared in various occasions to everyone who wanted to listen to him that dialogue is the only solution to the mining conflict.
The new president of the Council of Ministries, Juan Jimenez Mayor (third president since the beginning of the mining conflict just a year ago) participated last July 24 in the “Interreligious Chain of Prayer for Dialogue and Peace” which took place in the atrium of the Basilica of Saint Francis at the center of Lima to pray for peace in Cajamarca. During the said event, the chief of the cabinet invited the Peruvians to meditate on dialogue, peace, tolerance and respect, as they gather the newspapers and news agencies of the Andean country.
During the ceremony, Msgr. Miguel Cabrejos and Father Gaston Garatea, the two facilitators of the dialogue between the concerned parties (the central government and the regional government) were also present as suggested by the bishop of Cajamarca.
Finally, Salvador Piñeiro, president of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference, Rabbi Guillermo Bronstein, the representative of the Jewish Association of Peru, Jorge Bravo, vice-president of the National Evangelical Council of Peru, William Godfrey, bishop of the Anglican Church of Peru and Manuel Gutierrez, president of the Union of the Evangelical Christian Churches of Peru were also present.
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