Tachira - The Bishop of the diocese of San Cristobal, His Exc. Mgr. Mario del Valle Moronta Rodríguez, is concerned about the tension that has been going on for more than 20 days following the events that occurred in the prison in Tachira. On September 9, a group of prisoners took two guards, nine family members of detainees and some detainees hostage, to put pressure on the authorities in order to obtain the transfer to the penitentiary center of Aragua, given the unlivable conditions experienced in Tachira. According to data collected by Fides, the overcrowding levels are alarming: in total these facilities gather about 33 thousand people, but they have an effective capacity of less than 5,000 detainees. They were designed to house detainees for no more than 48 hours, while there are convicted prisoners who are serving their sentences.
Although Mgr. Moronta has not received any official request for his mediation, he has already met and listened to the concerns of the relatives of the hostages and spoke with several authorities, including the director of the detention center.
In the brief statement from the Diocese sent to Fides, Mgr. Mario Moronta emphasizes that the Church lives this situation with concern, along with the families of the hostages. The Bishop calls on the prisoners to become aware of their acts and urges the authorities to address the situation effectively, safeguarding the lives of everyone involved. He asks the faithful to accompany the timely resolution of this conflict with prayers. Mgr. Moronta has appointed a priest to accompany and personally follow up the evolution of the situation. >>