Sunday, January 14, 2007
BOLIVIAN HERO: CARDINAL JULIO TERRAZAS
A 21st CENTURY PEACEMAKER
He's not an evangelical bible believing christian but Cardinal Terrazas is a bona fide Bolivian hero.
Cardinal Terrazas is the Roman Archbishop of Santa Cruz; he is also the revered head of the Roman heirachy in Bolivia. He was appointed a Cardinal by the previous Pope, John Paul2. A soft spoken and gentle man, he is not one for long speeches nor is he a publicity hound. Bolivians look to him as a calming influence. I can testify to his friendliness and genuine warmth after having met up with him in several ecumenical meetings.
Cardinal Terrazas has, on many occasions, intervened and reconciled warring factions in Bolivia. Almost everyone listens to him. When the previous president, Carlos Mesa resigned, it was Cardinal Terrazas who stepped in and brokered a deal which resolved the explosive question as to who would suceed Mesa.
The current crisis between the governor of Cochabamba, Manfred Reyes Villa and the central government has worsened. Terrazas has stepped in again to try and broker a deal between the 2 parties. Its a difficult task. Manfred is holed up in Santa Cruz and will only negotiate with the government under the guidance of Cardenal Terrazas. The government however wants to hold the meeting in Cochabamba. Its all very murky but the people know that the nation's hero is at the helm of this very difficult situation.