Colombia’s inspector general requested ex-senator Piedad Cordoba be investigated for urging an indigenous group in southwestern Colombia to rebel against the government.
The Prosecutor General’s Office will investigate Cordoba for the crimes of instigation, rioting and conspiracy, after Cordoba appeared in the embattled town of Toribio to support the Nasa tribe’s efforts to remove all armed actors from the region— army and police forces as well as the FARC guerillas.
The prosecutor said the high-profile senator could not participate in social protest, committing crimes and encouraging others to undermine legal institutions.
Speaking to a group of protestors Wednesday, Cordoba declared, “we will collect signatures to revoke the mandate of Congress and may even topple the president of the republic,” leading Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon to call for state action, saying, “The government expects the prosecution to initiate an official investigation.”
The northern Cauca region has experience a wave of violence between the FARC, government forces in recent weeks has forced thousands of residents from their homes. In response, the indigenous population has taken matters into their own hands and organized large-scale protests, included the takeover of a nearby military base to defend their territory.
The government and indigenous leaders met Monday to discuss the ongoing violence in the region and explore possible solutions to the conflict. The Association of Indigenous Councils of Northern Cauca issued a list of demands during the meeting, which included the removal of state security forces from territory belonging to the Nasa indigenous tribe.
Talks are scheduled to begin again on Friday.