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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Poverty, inequality in Latin America at unthinkable levels, pope says

Latin America’s traditional social values of cooperation and solidarity must prevail over the societal ills that threaten the livelihood of the region’s inhabitants, Pope Francis said.

The current social and economic crisis facing Latin American countries has allowed for the “growth of poverty, unemployment, social inequality” and a situation in which the planet, “our common home, is exploited and abused,” the pope said on 30th June.

“This is at a level that we never would have imagined 10 years ago. In the face of this situation, an analysis is needed that takes into account the reality of concrete people, the reality of our people,” he told members of the Italian-Latin American International Organisation.

Founded in 1966, the international organisation seeks to increase “economic, social, scientific, technological and cultural cooperation” between Latin American countries and Italy, according to the group’s website.

Its 21 member states are: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Picture: A man rides a bike in the impoverished City of God neighbourhood in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 24th August 2016. (CNS photo/Michael Reynolds, EPA).