COLOMBIA

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Colombia is a Latin American country, which has been experiencing guerrilla warfare on its territory since 1964.
In recent years, there have been increasing efforts to reach a settlement between the government and the guerrilla militias who were originally Marxist; subsequently, they gradually transformed into gangs aimed at controlling vast areas. These gangs are also dedicated to the cultivation and trafficking of drugs.

After a failed attempt in the 1980s, peace seemed possible thanks to the 2016 agreements that were signed in Havana by former President Santos and the leaders of the largest guerrilla acronym, which is the FARC-EP (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo).
A new time seemed to have arrived for Colombia, especially after more than 200,000 deaths and five million displaced persons. Unfortunately, a part of the Colombian society saw the negotiation as a setback, and some militias did not lay down their arms such as the other major acronym, which is the ELN (Ejército de Liberación Nacional).

Violence continues in many departments, whereas guerrilla groups and criminal gangs are fighting against the State and against each other in order to control drug trafficking. This occurs because Colombia is a country where coca crops cover 200,000 hectares of land.
The new Colombian President, Doque, had promised in the electoral campaign to change the agreement that was reached between Santos and the FARC-EP, but these positions are weighed down by the government's difficulty in regaining control of the entire national territory.
Hence, tensions are rising and the ELN recently claimed the responsibility for the attack that happened a few days ago in Bogota, in which 20 people were killed and 70 others were wounded.

During the Angelus, which occurred on January 20, 2019, Pope Francis said: "Today I have two sorrows in my heart: Colombia and the Mediterranean. I wish to guarantee my closeness to the Colombian people, especially after the terrorist attack at the National Police School on Thursday. I pray for the victims and their families, and I continue to pray for the path of peace in Colombia."


 

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