In his Sunday sermon, Francis greeted a group of priests and migrants from Ecuador at the Vatican and said that he prays for peace in the country, which is under a state of emergency after incidents that occurred last week within the framework of a wave of criminal violence.
Pope Francis asked for peace in Ecuador
“I greet priests and migrants from Ecuador, who are assured of prayer for peace in their country,” said the pontiff after praying the Angelus in the Vatican.
It was about the Pope’s first public reference to the crisis that originated on January 9when a group of gang members armed broke into a live broadcast of a television channel in the city of Guayaquil.
After that event, the president Daniel Noboa declared a state of emergency after various incidents occurred in several prisons in the country, with the kidnapping and murder of officials, in addition to the escape of one of the country’s main criminal bosses, José Adolfo Macias Villamar, alias ‘Fito’, who was serving 34 years in prison for murder and drug trafficking.
From there, the Armed Forces detained 2,369 people between January 9 and 19, 158 on charges of “terrorism”, while 11 police officers have been released and up to 32 prisoners were “recaptured”, according to official information.
Haiti: Pope Francis asked for the release of kidnapped nuns
He Pope Francis also prayed this Sunday for the situation in Haiti, also hit by the phenomenon of criminal gangs, where the kidnapping of a group of six religious women was recorded.
“I learned with pain the news of the kidnapping in Haiti of a group of people, including six nuns,” said the Argentine pontiff after praying the Angelus.
“Insistently asking for his release, I pray for social harmony in the country and invite everyone to put an end to the violence, which causes so much suffering to this beloved population,” he added.
According to the Haitian Conference of Religious, eight people, including six nuns, were kidnapped on Friday while traveling by bus in the Caribbean island’s capital.
The incident took place amid a rise in kidnappings in Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, which is facing an upsurge in violence.