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Colombian cardinal backs peace deal

Catholic World News - May 30, 2013

Colombia’s leading prelate has expressed support for a land-reform agreement negotiated during peace talks aimed at ending the decades-long conflict between the nation’s government and rebels.

1% of the nation’s population owns 52% of the land.

“The Colombian bishops believe that the land issue is central to building true peace,” said Cardinal Rubén Salazar Gómez of Bogota. “Indeed, the Church's social doctrine stresses the need for an equitable distribution of land and policies that contribute to the overall development, both social and economic in rural areas.”

“We hope that the agreement reached becomes the effective implementation of a policy of agricultural development that is able to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of peasant families,” he added.

As the agreement is only a first step in the peace talks, the cardinal expressed hope that the negotiators “are able, through transparent dialogue that seeks the common good, to continue the challenging task of determining the basis for the end of the armed conflict.”

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