Colombia to pay victims after decades of violence

May 26, 2011 03:01


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BOGOTA - Colombian legislation to redress abuses from armed conflict and return land to peasants will turn the page on decades of bloodshed and usher in peace and prosperity, President Juan Manuel Santos said on Wednesday.

Colombia is trying to pull itself out of a vicious cycle of rural violence that has displaced 3.6 million people, killed tens of thousands and hit investments in oil, mining and agriculture.

"This is a very bold law that will change the history of our country and open the way to a better future," Santos said as he handed out land titles in Norte de Santander province.

"There is no longer any reason for groups that are killing people in name of an ideology. That is obsolete," he said of Marxist guerrillas who took up arms in the 1960s and right-wing paramilitary groups that fought them.

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