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Rome Reports

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Colombian youth send letters to FARC guerrilla members to forgive them

"I forgive you from my heart and won't forget that you too are Colombian.â? This was one of the 2,200 letters that young people, including FARC victims, sent to the guerrillas. It is part of the "Letters for Reconciliation" initiative that traveled through the whole country, after being promoted by Christian Palacios. CRISTIAN PALACIOS "Letters for Reconciliationâ? "'Letters for Reconciliation' is a youth initiative, by young people who see the need to close the gap between the cities and the people who are currently abandoning their arms." These students' aim is to write 6,900 letters, which also happens to be the exact number of guerrilla soldiers still present. The students visit the camps where the rebels currently reside and read their letters out loud. The guerrilla members have been able to respond with a warmth of their own, thanking them for their forgiveness.    CRISTIAN PALACIOS "Letters of Reconciliationâ? "Our first delivery was in Caldono Cauca. We had approximately 340 letters to deliver. FLASH. Absolutely everyone there received them very kindly and with great emotion. They said nobody had been expecting a letter from someone in the city, because they believed no one in the city was interested in writing to them. They immediately responded with letters of their own showing their appreciation.â? FARC MEMBER "One of the things that makes me proud and happy when I see you is that we are not alone, we are all together. You have started a revolution. You have protested through the student movement.â? FARC has already delivered 60 percent of their weapons to United Nations supervisors, as had been agreed upon with the government. Perhaps this gesture will help to heal the wounds created in this long conflict. JS/DN Workinprogress-Juan Sangrador -F PR Up: JS