So, the catholic church’s leader has visited the once trouble Latin American country of Colombia.

And his message is that of peace.

Pope Francis is asking Colombians to avoid seeking "vengeance" for the sufferings of their country during a 50-year conflict, as they work towards lasting peace.

"The steps taken give rise to hope, in the conviction that seeking peace is an open-ended endeavour, a task which does not relent, which demands the commitment of everyone," Pope Francis said.

"May this determination help us flee from the temptation to vengeance and the satisfaction of short-term partisan interests," he added.

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AFP reports that Francis arrived in Colombia on Wednesday for a five-day tour on which he will meet people bereaved and wounded in the conflict.

President Santos won a Nobel Peace Prize last year for his part in the peace process which has come to be known as FARC accord.

At his open-air encounter with Santos in front of the presidential palace, Francis hugged local children dressed all in white as a choir sang a song of peace.

He was scheduled later to meet with bishops and hold an open-air mass for thousands of worshippers in the majority Catholic country.

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