AMERICA/HONDURAS - "The country is wounded to death by violence, poverty, corruption" denounces Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga before the President of Honduras

Tegucigalpa (Agenzia Fides) - Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, said before the highest authorities of Honduras that the country is bleeding, mortally wounded by violence, increasing poverty, lack of respect for life and corruption among the police. The violence in Honduras is also the product of "the impact of narco-business subculture, unstoppable migration and of religious confusion, a result of the invasion of the sects", the Cardinal said during the celebration of the Eucharist on February 3 for the 265th anniversary of discovery of the Virgin of Suyapa, patroness of the Central American country. The celebration was attended by Honduran President Porfirio Lobo, his ministers, the heads of the legislative and judicial powers, other local authorities, diplomats, and thousands of Honduran Catholics from different regions of the country. The Cardinal said that the living conditions in Honduras suggest that only faith and hope can bring peace, tranquility, security and mutual trust. In his opinion the cleaning of the National Police, which has been implicated in various crimes and misdemeanors, is an "urgent imperative" and a "hard job" to be executed. Appealing to those who have responsibilities in the government, the Cardinal said: "We cannot let ourselves be overcome by evil, but we must overcome evil with good; we cannot live in fear, insomnia, nightmares and grief". The Archbishop of Tegucigalpa also reminded that we must teach children that there is "a commandment of God's law which says: Thou shalt not kill". Honduras, with 8.2 million inhabitants, is living a wave of violence that, according to human rights organizations and the local press, is causing an average of 20 deaths per day. According to data from the Monitoring of violence of the National Autonomous University of Honduras, in 2011 the country had 81.5 murders per 100,000 residents, well above the world average of 8.8 according to data provided by the United Nations. The government is carrying out a cleaning operation within the National Police, prosecutors and even the judiciary. The Cardinal concluded by saying that the Catholic Church has announced a citizen campaign to promote a culture of peace and respect for life, the campaign organized together with Caritas Honduras and the Episcopal Conference is aimed at supporting the construction of a society that places at its center respect, welfare and safety of the human person. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 06/02/2012)