Pope authorizes spending of R$5.2 million to free Colombian nun | World

Colombian nun held captive for 4 years in Mali
Tânia Rêgo / Agência Brasil – 05/08/2020

Colombian nun held captive for 4 years in Mali

Pope Francis has authorized spending of one million euros (equivalent to R$5.2 million reais at current exchange rates) to free a Colombian nun, who was held captive for more than four years in Mali before being released in 2021.

The information, released this Thursday (5), was said by a cardinal in a Vatican court.

Cardinal Angelo Becciu, the only ecclesiastical official among 10 defendants in a corruption trial that began in July last year, also testified that he had no improper relations with an Italian woman who was an intermediary in the operation to free the nun.

Sister Gloria Cecilia Narvaez was kidnapped by the Macina Liberation Front, an al Qaeda-linked group in Mali, in February 2017.

Becciu testified that Cecilia Marogna, whom he met in 2016 and who is also a defendant in the trial, put him in touch with a London-based risk and intelligence firm in 2018 to figure out a way to gain his freedom.

The cardinal said he told the Pope that the operation, including the establishment of a “network of contact” and an eventual rescue, would cost at most around one million euros.

“He approved. I must say that all phases of this operation have been approved by the Holy Father,” testified Becciu.

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