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Colombian president signs law to aid poor

June 29, 2011 at 6:46 PM

BOGOTA, June 29 (UPI) -- Colombia's president has signed a new law that promises more money for the South American country's poorest regions, officials said.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos signed the regionalization law that fulfills a neglected 20-year-old mandate in the Colombian Constitution, El Tiempo reported Wednesday.

Santos said the measure will distribute money from Colombia's richest districts to areas enduring economic disadvantages.

"The money will go directly towards investment, competitiveness of the district, generating employment and reducing poverty," Santos said.

The law partially fulfills Colombia's 1991 Constitution that requires the country's Congress to create a law regulating how districts can form developmental regions.

The measure allows two or more of Colombia's districts or states to plan regional construction projects.

Cauca, Narino and the Caribbean coast have expressed intention to form a region.

The Caribbean coast will receive $15 billion over the next decade under the new law.

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