Posted by Teresa Welsh on Nov 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Cordoba denies selling Chavez appointments

Colombia news - Piedad Cordoba

Former Colombian Senator Piedad Cordoba Tuesday denied charging business to arrange meetings with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Cordoba admitted that she knows Venezuelan businessman Carlos Bastistini, with whom she is accused of collecting the money for access to Chavez. Alleged Venezuelan drug trafficker Walid Makled accused Cordoba and Bastistini for charging up to $100 million to schedule meetings with Chavez. Makled said he paid Bastistini $8 million for a meeting with the Venezuelan president.

The former senator also told W Radio that there is no record of her accepting any illegal money from the Venezuelan government for political activity. She said that “there is not a more investigated person in this country” and said she had been followed by DAS, the DEA and SIJIN, and that therefore it is clear that she did not have any illegal financial dealings with Venezuela.

“It would be easier to ask Maria del Pilar Hurtado, who was in charge of all of my tracking, where [this money] is,” Cordoba said. “This is part of a campaign against me.”

Cordoba also said that “FARC-politics” doesn’t exist because all the politicians being investigated for illegal ties with the guerrilla group were authorized to do so by the Colombian government. She was banned from serving in public office for 18 years for supposedly overstepping her bounds as a government negotiator with the FARC.