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Piedad Córdoba, Colombian senator, dies.

She was the protagonist of the most important events.

Colombia: The senator of the party currently in power, Piedad Córdoba, an ally of the Latin American left, died this Saturday at the age of 68 in her hometown of Medellín (northwest), said Gustavo Petro, the country’s president.

“A true liberal has died. As a congressman I met her and as a senator she died.”, he announced on the social network X.

According to the local press, the senator, who recently aspired to the presidency in 2017, died in a clinic after having a heart attack.

She, a lawyer, is remembered for her humanitarian management in 2007 in favor of the release of hostages from the former guerrilla group of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and for being an unrestricted ally of the late Hugo Chávez, Venezuelan president.

Born in 1955, she became interested in the politics of her country at a young age, when she joined the Liberal Party of Colombia. Her first elected position was that of councilor of Medellín in 1988.

In 1994, he secured a seat in the Senate for the first time. Since then, she has had a long career as a congresswoman, being elected five times, including in the current period, being part of the government bench.

In 2010, she was disqualified as senator and ineligible to hold public office, for exceeding limits in her functions as a mediator between the government and the former guerrilla, even though a higher court later restored her political rights.

Before her death, the courts were questioning her for alleged relations with the FARC.

According to the press, she was also being investigated for “alleged unauthorized contacts” with drug traffickers arrested and in the process of being extradited to ask for Petro’s support in the campaign that led him to become President.

In May 2022, Córdoba was detained for a day in Honduras for not declaring 68 thousand dollars (about 350 thousand reais) in cash when leaving the country. She maintained her innocence and the detention was revoked.

At the beginning of 2023, his brother, Álvaro Córdoba, was sent to the United States on charges of drug trafficking and links to a Colombian guerrilla faction and a Mexican cartel.

At that time, he told the press that “they are actually looking for my sister”.

She was found dead.

Colombian politics lost one of its most representative figures this Saturday. Piedad Córdoba  , an Afro-Colombian woman who, since Congress, has been the protagonist of the most important events of the last three decades, was found dead by her bodyguards. 

When she was admitted to the Los Conquistadores clinic, in Medellín, her hometown, she had already died of a heart attack. 

Its Struggles, Mediations, its roots.

Known for her fight to reach a negotiated solution to the armed conflict with the then FARC guerrillas and for having participated in negotiations with this armed group, which led to the release of several kidnapped people, she has always been a controversial figure.

The turban, which he wore almost always and which highlighted his Afro roots, as well as his direct way of speaking, were his two most distinctive characteristics. Córdoba managed to advance in a world dominated by men, in a Congress with a much lower female representation than the current one, when it barely reaches 30%. 

He also defended the search for a negotiated solution to the conflict, in decades – the 90s and 2000s – in which this idea was seen not only as distant, but also rejected by a large part of public opinion. 

However, as a mediator between the government of former president Álvaro Uribe and the FARC guerrillas, she managed to free many kidnapped people who had been in the jungle for years. For this work, in 2008 she was nominated for the Prince of Asturias Prize by Concordia, and was even nominated as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize.

* AFP

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