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Bishop asks Nicaraguans not to take justice into their own hands

Bishop Silvio José Báez, auxiliary of Managua, Nicaragua, called on people of the country not to take justice into their own hands, following violence last week by paramilitary and police forces against peaceful protesters.

“With violence we kill the future, and when there are people who pick up a rifle to take away another’s life, they are tearing away a piece of Nicaragua’s future,” Báez said during Mass on Sunday at St. Joseph’s church in the Sabana Grande area.

“But take care, neither should we fall into the temptation of wanting to take justice into our own hands,” he continued. “We would be entering into a spiral of violence in which we would all perish. The price of pain and death would be very high, we have to avoid that.”

Anti-government protests in Nicaragua began in April 2018. They resulted in more than 300 deaths, and the country’s bishops mediated on-again, off-again peace talks until they broke down in June.

A new round of dialogue began Feb. 27 at the INCAE Business School in Managua.

On March 30, paramilitaries and police attacked a group of people who were demonstrating against the government. One paramilitary member entered the local shopping center and began shooting protesters. The local press reported there were at least three wounded.

The incident occurred after accords signed March 29 between the government and the opposition Civic Alliance allowed for peaceful protest.

The police justified their actions in a statement blaming “violent groups” that had invaded “private property” and “disrupted the public order.” However, the Civic Alliance denounced the “new repression” and asserted that the regime had violated the accords.

Read more at Catholic News Agency. 

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