Interior Minister Fabio Valencia requested no interpretations on President Alvaro Uribe’s Wednesday announcement which “specifically” authorizes Cordoba to receive the FARC hostages and to participate in the act of liberation. “This has to be taken literally and should not be interpreted,” Valencia told El Tiempo.
On Wednesday, President Alvaro Uribe said “the government authorizes Senator Piedad Cordoba, together with the International Red Cross and the Catholic Church, to participate in the act of liberation of the hostages still held by the FARC. They should be released simultaneously … and they [the FARC] should hand over the dead bodies of the three kidnapped compatriots who died in captivity.”
“We hope that everything goes they way the President has proposed, that the guerrillas release the hostages unilaterally. The Government encourages this [the liberation] to happen in a purely humanitarian act,” Valencia said.
The Interior Minister added that the request of Cordoba to meet with the President, to set the release process in motion, would be no obstacle because “he has met many times with her.”
Uribe’s authorization of Cordoba’s “involvement” broke the stalemate in
negotiations with the FARC, who had demanded the ‘Colombians for Peace’
But the announcement has also caused suspicion among the Opposition. Presidential candidates say that Uribe only authorized Cordoba to participate in FARC hostage
negotiations to create a “smoke screen” to draw attention away from the ‘notary scandal‘.