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Far-left Colombian Senator Piedad Córdoba, involved in multiple scandals, dies at 68

She had been accused of corruption and taking illicit money, as well as rapprochement with terrorist guerrilla group FARC.

Piedad Córdoba

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Colombian Senator Piedad Córdoba has died at the age of 68. The socialist was involved in multiple scandals throughout her extensive political career, which ended with accusations of corruption, taking illicit funds and rapprochement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a guerrilla terrorist organization.

The news of her death was confirmed on Saturday, Jan. 20, after she was admitted DOA to the Conquistadores clinic in Medellín due to a heart attack. The senator began to show health problems in mid-2022.

A lawyer by trade, she entered politics in 1991, when she was elected to the Colombian House of Representatives, where she would serve until 1994, when she made the leap to the Senate.

However, she was expelled from the Senate and disqualified from holding public office in 2010 because the Attorney General's Office accused her of having a relationship with FARC, using the kidnappings carried out by the criminal organization to favor specific political agendas.

The decision was annulled by the Council of State in 2016, which returned her the chance to run politically. After a failed presidential bid in 2018, she returned to the Senate in 2022, where she would remain until her death.

Her career was marked by multiple scandals, including the aforementioned accusations of corruption, illicit enrichment and relations with FARC. Additionally, her brother Álvaro was recently arrested and charged with drug trafficking crimes in the United States, to which he pleaded guilty. Córdoba intervened in the release processes of those kidnapped by FARC during the era of former President Álvaro Uribe (2002-2010), which raised even more suspicions after the accusations.

In turn, she gained a great relationship with Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro, the dictator of Venezuela. In the latter case, political analysts described her as his "right hand" in Colombia.

Gustavo Petro's message

The Colombian president was one of the first to mourn Córdoba's death. He dedicated a few words to her on X, formerly known as Twitter.

"Piedad Córdoba was a woman beaten by an era and a society. She fought all her mature life for a more democratic society. Her body and her mind did not resist the pressure of an anachronistic society, which applauded the adjustments of young people, which hated dialogue and peace, who hated black people, indigenous people and the poor, who treated her like a criminal," Petro wrote.

"A fascist attorney expelled her from the Senate and mocked her constituents, I wanted to make amends for the damage and helped her to be part of the list of the Historical Pact, I felt that she deserved it. As a congressman I met her, and as a senator she died. A true liberal has died," he concluded.