Tess Daniels

World News Writer

Tue

26

Sep

2017

Pope Francis Visits War-Weary Colombia

by Tess Daniels

 

Pope Francis arrived in Colombia for a five-day visit earlier this month, determined to advocate reconciliation and forgiveness to the Colombian people, whose country has been bitterly divided for decades. The country has been torn apart by internal violence between government forces and guerilla militias, most notably the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Yet, in late 2016, the Colombian Congress approved peace accords with FARC. After a referendum for a similar deal failed earlier that year, the government reworked it and both houses of Congress, controlled overwhelmingly by President Juan Manuel Santos’s coalition, passed the deal. About 7,000 FARC rebels left the jungle and began the process of returning to civilian life. However, for many Colombian citizens, the conflict cannot be easily forgotten, and understandably so: an estimated 220,000 people were killed and about 6 million displaced through the decades of violence.

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