Colombia: The good Senator Piedad Cordoba still challenges state strategy

Senator Piedad Cordoba, who last was month barred from holding public office for 18 years for allegedly collaborating with the FARC, says she will reactivate hostage release negotiations with guerrilla groups the FARC and the ELN, reports TeleSUR.

Cordoba said that the decision by the Inspector General’s Office to ban her from public office would not affect her role as mediator between the government and the guerrillas.

“The fact that it has put an obstacle in the way of working towards peace in Colombia does not mean that we are not going to continue doing the job,“ Cordoba said.

“It is very important to continue looking for the humanization of war in Colombia, but fundamentally move toward political negotiations,” added the senator.

Cordoba was barred from office for 18 years on September 27 following the Inspector General’s Office ruling that the controversial senator had “promoted and collaborated with” the FARC, which is considered a terrorist organization by Colombia, the United States, and the European Union.

A group of former hostages led by Senator Luis Eladio Perez came out in support of Cordoba Wednesday by sending a letter to Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez outlining Cordoba’s “irrevocable commitment” to securing the release of hostages.

“How could Senator Piedad Cordoba, without having any contact with our captors, create a safe space for them to accept us back to freedom, unharmed as we are now?” the letter asks.

Cordoba is a highly controversial public figure in Colombia and was often accused by former President Alvaro Uribe of having ties to the FARC.

The Liberal Party senator is president of “Colombians for Peace,” a group of prominent Colombians that are calling on the government and guerrillas to seek a political solution to the country’s 46-year-old violent conflict, and has in the past negotiated the release of a number of hostages held by the FARC. Cordoba was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.

Cameron Sumpter

20 October 2010

Colombia Reports

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