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The Role of Religion in Colombia's Reconciliation

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Technical Report

Corporate Author:

Army South Ft. Sam Houston United States

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As the decades-long conflict between the Colombian military and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia FARC comes to an end, the reconciliation process between these two warring factions presents a multitude of challenges. As Colombias national government attempts to expand its reach from urban areas into vast swaths of previously ungoverned rural territory, military, law enforcement and social services personnel will encounter a newly minted demilitarized zone populated by indigenous peoples suffering from illiteracy, poverty and the ravages of civil war. The end of the Colombian conflict instantly presents new priorities for national and regional leaders including the creation of infrastructure, the establishment of law and order, and the reintegration of rebel warriors into Colombian society. The Colombian government will call upon a vast array of forces including Non-Governmental Organizations NGOs to tackle the many obstacles that threaten to derail a lasting reconciliation between government and rebel forcesand indeed between the dramatically different populations of urban and rural Colombia. This paper addresses the role that organized religion can play in this daunting process that includes repentance, forgiveness and ultimately, reconciliation.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Humanities and History

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