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One area where JRS works is with young people; attempting to prevent the recruitment of youth into armed groups is key to ending the cycle of violence. (Christian Fuchs — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA)

(Washington, D.C.) November 13, 2012 — Christian Wlaschütz of Jesuit Refugee Service Colombia discusses the work of JRS with people displaced by the conflict in Colombia. JRS supports a negotiated resolution of the armed civil conflict in Colombia and advocates for policies that will lead to a just and sustainable peace in the region. 

Toward that end, JRS has successfully advocated to encourage U.S. policy makers to shift the focus of U.S. foreign aid to Colombia away from military support, and toward greater contributions to humanitarian aid and programs for sustainable development.

One area where JRS works is with young people; attempting to prevent the recruitment of youth into armed groups is key to ending the cycle of violence. Mr. Wlaschütz also discusses the prospects for the current peace talks between the Colombia government and the leftist FARC rebel group.

Advocacy by JRS in Colombia helped lead to a new law providing recitation of land illegally seized to be returned to its rightful owners. Although the actual restitution will be a long and difficult road, there now exists a legal framework for it to happen.

The Jesuits in Colombia lead several peace building programs in the country. In this video, Mr. Wlaschütz discusses the addition of academic programs to the peace process, including a possible new Peace and Cultural Studies program.

The JRS reconciliation program in Colombia works from the bottom up, and incorporates historic memory and cultural identity to achieve lasting reconciliation.

Videos produced and story by Christian Fuchs — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA

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