President embarks on 12-day state visit to Latin America

President Michael D Higgins is embarking on a 12-day state visit to Latin America today.

The President will visit Peru, Colombia and Cuba where he'll meet with the leaders of each country, foreign dignitaries, universities and members of the Irish community.

The key themes running through the President's visit are Irish links with Latin America, peace and reconciliation and culture.

This is the third visit to Latin America by President Higgins and comes shortly after the death of Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

His visit to Cuba had been agreed ahead of the former communist leaders’ death.

In Bogotá, Colombia President Higgins will meet leaders of Colombia's largest rebel movement, the FARC aswell as UN observers are working together to facilitate the demobilisation and reintegration of former rebels into Colombian society.

He will begin his Official Visit to Peru with a visit to the tomb of Ambrosio O’Higgins, a native of Co. Sligo, and whose son Bernardo O’Higgins fought for Chilean independence and was later appointed Supreme Director of Chile.

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