Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino, Archbishop of Caracas, celebrated Mass in the Cathedral of Caracas on January 1, launching an appeal for peace. In his message addressed to Venezuelans, he asked to for an end to violent death in the country.
Cardina Urosa Savino called on all Venezuelans to live in tolerance and understanding, but also asked authorities to do everything possible to combat insecurity and crime. According to figures published by the local press, the morgue in Caracas reported 38 deaths only from December 30, 2011 to January 1, 2012, and throughout the entire month of December recorded 623 deaths. Although there are no official sources for these statistics, most people have been killed in a violent manner or with weapons.
"We need to eradicate violence from the heart, but also to fight crime and punishment in accordance with the Constitution and laws", said Cardinal Urosa Savino, who in some statements made immediately after Mass, called the number of victims of violence in the month of December as "exaggerated and incredible." The Cardinal also said he hoped that all electoral processes scheduled for this year can be carried out in peace.
The city of Caracas has a population exceeding 1.8 million people, while the metropolitan area has over 4.1 million.