Mind, Heart, and Soul in the Fight against Poverty

By Katherine Marshall; Lucy Keough | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 17
Faith Dimensions of
Peace and Development
in Colombia

In Magdalena Medio, one of Colombia’s most turbulent regions, a JL community-led development program, building on the long-standing Catholic Church engagement in the area and involving a creative partnership with Church, private sector, and government, shows great promise for reducing violence and moving toward the socioeconomic development that must be the foundation for lasting peace. The World Bank, through a flexible new type of lending arrangement, has supported the program and is currently working to extend similar partnerships and development schemes in other parts of Colombia.

Situated in the heart of Colombia, the Magdalena Medio region boasts great natural and productive wealth in the forms of oil, gas, gold, water, and livestock. Indeed, the region is the birthplace of the country’s petroleum industry and a strategic transportation corridor. However, access to those assets and the income they generate is highly unequal. Only 4.5 percent of the value of petroleum and gas production stays in the region, and the predominant extractive industries do not provide employment or income for most of the population. What is more, severe environmental problems have significantly undercut productivity of key

This chapter was prepared under the leadership of Jairo Arboleda; Father Alejan-
dro Angulo, director of CINEP, prepared a first draft.

-209-

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