– A reported video message from a Colombian nun kidnapped almost a year ago in Mali appeals to Pope Francis for his help in securing her release.
The video was reportedly created by two local terrorist organizations that are linked to Al Qaeda.
According to the online edition of the Spanish newspaper El País, the video, which may have been recorded in December, would prove that Sister Gloria Cecilia Narváez Argoti is still alive. In the video, Argoti reportedly mentions Christmas and the pope’s trip to Chile and Peru that concluded a few days ago.
The Al Akhbar agency published the contents of the message, although it has not released the video itself. It says that the video lasts 4:44 minutes and that “the Colombian hostage pleads with the pope of the Vatican to intervene to free her.”
Argoti was kidnapped Feb. 7, 2017 in southern Mali.
The Colombian National Police told RCN Radio earlier this month that they are collaborating with the Vatican police to obtain the 56-year-old nun’s release and met in Holland to exchange information.
“The pope is aware of what Colombia is doing and to what point we’ve come to obtain her release,” said General Fernando Murillo of the Colombian National Police’s hostage and extortion unit. He said the Colombian police are in ongoing contact with the Catholic Church in Mali to expedite negotiations.
Murillo said that the kidnapping was done for ransom purposes and that the authorities do not know the specific amount being asked for the release of the religious, nor of any communication the terrorists may have had with relatives.
At the end of the video, the terrorists reportedly propose “to negotiate through independent charitable organizations outside the colonialist force.”
Argoti has served in Mali for 12 years. Her community administers a large health center in the country, as well as a home where they care for some 30 orphans between one and two years of age.
The children were all orphaned at birth, and the sisters pick them up and take care of them, along with some moms that work with them, Sister Noemi Quesada, the superior of Argoti’s order in Colombia, told Colombia La FM Radio last February.
In addition to their pastoral ministry, they teach literacy to some 700 Muslim women and are working on a barn project for times of food shortages, as many mothers in the region die from malnutrition.
This article was originally published by ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.