Alejandro Eder, spokesman for Reintegration Policy in Colombia, a program linked to the demobilization of 30,000 members of illegal armed groups across the country, on Thursday met with Pope Francis, handing the pontiff a Colombian football shirt.
According to newspaper Semana, the Pope welcomed the shirt, recalling his fondness for San Lorenzo, the pontiff’s football team in his native Argentina.
The strip was signed by Colombian football legend Carlos Valderrama.
While in the Vatican, Eder shared his experiences of reintegration and peace building before Pope Francis assured the official that he prayed for peace in Colombia.
The Colombian government have been negotiating a five point peace accord with rebel group FARC since November in order to quell a 49 year internal conflict.
While an accord has been reached regarding land reform, no agreements have been made on the issue of the FARC’s political participation, drug trafficking, the practicalities of the end of the armed conflict and the rights of the victims.