He Pope Francisco today called for the arrest of “human traffickers”after the tragic shipwreck that occurred a week ago off the coast of crotone (Calabria, southern Italy) that has caused at least 70 deadalthough it is feared that the final number exceeds one hundred.
“I express my sorrow for the tragedy that occurred in the waters of four, near Crotone. I pray for the many victims of the shipwreck, for their relatives and for those who have survived,” said the pontiff after the Sunday prayer for the aneglus before hundreds of people gathered in Saint Peter’s Square in the Vatican.
Francis also wanted to show his “appreciation and gratitude to the local population and the institutions for the solidarity and welcome of our brothers and sisters”, before launching an appeal.
“I renew my appeal to all of you so that do not repeat similar tragediesThat the traffickers of human beings be arrested, they do not continue to dispose of the lives of so many innocents”, he emphasized.
And he showed his desire that “The journeys of hope will never again become the journeys of death., may the clear waters of the Mediterranean never be bloodied again for these dramatic incidents.”
“May the Lord give us the strength to understand and cry”, he concluded, before remaining silent for a few moments in a heartfelt tribute to thes shipwreck victimsfrom which 70 fatalities have so far been recovered, 16 of them children.
So far they have identified 56 of the 70 bodies foundmostly from agfans, Iranians, pakistani and Syrianswhile searching for between 27 and 47 missing, so it is feared that the final death toll will exceed one hundred while 81 people were rescued alive.
The shipwreck, investigated by the Prosecutor’s Office, occurred in the early hours of last Sunday when the wooden barge in which they had sailed from Turkey Some 180 migrants, according to the survivors, sank off the Calabrian coast, in a very rough sea.
One aspect of the research focuses on the security forces activity in the hours prior to the shipwreck, since, despite being aware of the existence of the vessel from the previous day, not considered a relief operation from the first moment and several hours passed without the boat being attended to, according to the story released by Italian law enforcement.
(With information from EFE)
Pope Francis, 10 years as leader of the Catholic Church: the films and documentaries that explore his life
The Bergoglios: the shipwreck from which they were saved, the coat full of savings and the day they lost everything in Argentina