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2014-07-28

AMERICA/COLOMBIA - Guerrilla groups become political parties: for the Church this is a positive step

Cucuta (Agenzia Fides) - Several groups of former paramilitary guerillas are turning into political parties and intend to act as actors in a democratic future in Colombia. This is the case of the "Alianza de la unidad Colombiana" (AUC) that announced its transformation into a political movement: Alianza Colombiana de la Unidad por la Paz". While public opinion in the country is still divided on the possibility to accept these changes, from the Diocese of Cucuta, Mgr. Julio César Vidal Ortiz expressed himself in a positive way: "If one gives them the opportunity to do so, then they have every right. If, the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) did it, and even ELN (National Liberation Army), it is clear that others want to do it, because all are expressions of the same reality: they are born because of poverty in the country, injustice and corruption. These are the factors that have given rise to these groups", said the Bishop in a note sent to Fides.
The note refers to former members of the paramilitary group, claiming that the agreement between the government and the FARC on political participation should expand opportunities for those who belong to armed groups, although they were "outlaws". Mgr. Vidal Ortiz, in the period from 2002 until 2006, acted as an intermediary in the peace process between paramilitary groups and the government of Alvaro Uribe. His speech was of great weight to the rapprochement between the parties at that time. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 28/07/2014)

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