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Published: Mon, September 11, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Pope Francis, in Colombia, travels to former war zone of Villavicencio

Pope Francis, in Colombia, travels to former war zone of Villavicencio

Pope Francis has urged Colombians to shun vengeance after a bloody 50-year civil war but said leaders had to enact laws to end the "darkness" of injustice and social inequality that breeds violence.

"We have to put ourselves in the other person's shoes", said Ms Canola.

He is to visit the Colombian cities of Medellín Sept. 9 and Cartagena Sept. 10 before returning to Rome.

"When they (difficulties) come up, it is said that the Pope thinks and feels that he can face them", he added.

Speaking to reporters on the plane to Colombia on Wednesday, Francis said the trip was 'a bit special because it is being made to help Colombia go forward on its path to peace'.

"Timochenko appears unconcerned regarding the controversy, and maintains great faith in presence of the supreme pontiff in Colombia, noting that with Pope Francis in Colombia" something will change".

He said: "As we look at it, we remember not only what happened on that day, but also the vast suffering, the many deaths and broken lives, and all the blood spilled in Colombia these past decades".

Relatives of a nurse who disappeared in 2004 arrived Friday with photos of the woman, Marina Cristina Cobo Mahecha, draped around their necks. "When you forgive, you still have the scar of the wound, but yes, I have definitely forgiven from my heart".

The archbishop said he does not believe Pope Francis will speak about specific aspects of the peace accord, but rather will talk about the Christian values that must be the foundation of a true and lasting peace.

Bishop Jesus Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve of Arauca was kidnapped and shot twice in the head by Colombian Marxist guerrillas in 1989.

On the first day of his visit to the heavily Catholic country, Francis met with President Juan Manuel Santos and first lady Maria Clemencia Rodriguez, along with other government and religious leaders, and young people. Because his love heralds the peace, reconciliation and justice that the sons and daughters of this country have yearned for for so long.

In 2016, leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, commonly called FARC, apologized for the massacre in the Bojaya church. Both legislative and presidential elections are set for 2018. That led to negotiations in which Santos and the rebels eventually incorporated some of Uribe's criticisms into a revised accord that was approved by congress.

Pope Francis greets the faithful at the Apostolic Nunciature to Colombia in Bogota, Colombia, September 6, 2017.

In spite of this, the division continues in Colombia, with many who say that the high command of the guerrilla must pay for their crimes, as well as considerable opposition to the upstart political movement of the FARC.

The longtime rebel commander, who is undergoing medical treatment in Cuba following a stroke, said he regretted that he was unable to be present.

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