August 12, 2013
Kerry Pledges US Support to End Colombian Conflict
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is pledging American support for Colombia's efforts to end five decades of conflict with FARC rebels, in what remains as Latin America's longest-running insurgency.
The top American diplomat met Monday in Bogota with Colombian officials negotiating with the rebels to try to find peace for the first time since 1964. Later, he played a sit-down version of volleyball with soldiers who have lost limbs to land mines in the Colombian fighting and vowed U.S. support.
"We will do everything possible that we can do to try to be helpful to support this program and other programs and ultimately to try to help bring peace in Colombia."
Kerry is on his first trip to South America since becoming secretary of state earlier this year. The visit included meetings with his Colombian counterpart, Maria Angela Holguin, and President Juan Manuel Santos.
The U.S. ambassador to Colombia, Michael McKinley, said the talks would touch on secret American spying in Latin America, part of programs divulged by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who is now living in Russia in asylum.
Kerry is heading to Brazil on Tuesday for talks with its leaders.