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Cuba gives scholarships to Colombia war vets, victims

BOGOTA, Colombia — Former guerrilla fighters and victims of war area heading to Cuba for medical studies at a university that plans to give 1,000 scholarships to former combatants and victims of Colombia’s five-decade-long internal conflict.

Dozens of young men and women met at Bogota’s International Airport to make the trip to Cuba Tuesday. The group includes 22 former rebels, a former policeman and victims of Colombia’s civil war, who have said they want to practice medicine in some of Colombia’s most impoverished areas.

Cuba’s government is providing the scholarships as part of its contribution to a fragile peace process that ended fighting between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. The peace deal was negotiated in Havana from 2012 to 2016.