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Arequipa – “The bicentenary of our national independence confronts us with a multidimensional crisis, perhaps the worst in our life as a republic. The health crisis that has intensified as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis it has triggered add to the political and social crisis that we have been going through for several years and the end of which is not in sight. The candidate Pedro Castillo won the presidential election with just over 40,000 votes ahead of the candidate Keiko Fujimori. Peru was already divided, and the appointment of the new cabinet of ministers has not raised hopes of national unity”, this is how the Archbishop of Arequipa, Javier Del Río Alba, describes the current situation in Peru.
Mgr. Del Río Alba, recalls the words of Pope Francis on the crises: “Every crisis represents a crossroads: we can withdraw into ourselves, seeking our own security and expediency, or we can be open to others, which entails risks but also God’s promised fruits of grace” . The big challenge for Peru today is to open up “to others” in search of a common project for the country, which despite its 200-year republican history is still under construction. And in the face of this challenge, which is at the same time a great opportunity presented by the bicentenary, civil society could play a historical role if it did not allow itself to be beaten by polarization, but instead chooses to tear down walls through political charity and building bridges of social friendship. It is necessary to do this and expect the authorities to do it too instead of continuing to distance themselves in sterile confrontations based on ideologies or personal interests that end up harming people”, stresses the Archbishop of Arequipa.
The note sent to Fides continues with the Archbishop’s invitation: “For this reason, it is essential that the citizens assume a greater political responsibility, which includes not only the party but also other forms of active participation in the life of the polis, by cooperating, each starting from the situation in which he finds himself, in the construction of a more just and more fraternal society”.
“We Peruvians are called to come out better from the crisis in which we find ourselves and we will do so insofar as we work together, because as Francis also says: “either we will overcome the crisis together or we will not”. The path is dialogue at all levels, the integration of large parts of the population who have been marginalized up to now, the appreciation of integrating diversity and the “common search for the holistic human development of every single Peruvian”.