Former Senator Piedad Cordoba wants President Juan Manuel Santos to authorize her to talk to the FARC and mediate a political way out of Colombia’s 45-year-long armed conflict between state and leftist rebels.
In an interview with El Tiempo published Sunday, the controversial politician — banned from Congress for ties to the guerrillas, but nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize — said that the only thing she wants is “that the President authorizes me to be able to talk to the FARC. If he does so, I can assure him of results. If this happens, I will do it with utmost prudence like I have so far. My job is to not let anyone leave the table of talks until the end is reached.”
According to Cordoba, she isn’t “looking for a place in the government. I am looking for a place in history. I will do what they tell me to do. I am no warrior, I am a pacifist, but I chose the hardest road.”
Santos agreed to meet with the former senator on Sunday, after the release of three hostages, Cordoba wrote on her Twitter.
This talk will not only be about brokering the release of 16 political hostages still held by the FARC, but also “possibilities to approach the FARC and ELN.”
Despite previous failed attempts to talk peace with the ELN and the FARC, Cordoba opines that government policies should be aiming towards peace. “This means making deals, swallowing pride, move forward and only see what matters,” she told the newspaper.
“The largest gain — although the country does not see this yet — is coming closer to the great opportunity to sit down and talk and making peace, which will not be a repetition of (the 1999-2002 failed peace talks of San Vicente del) Caguan.
The Colombian government has recently said it is open to peace talks with the FARC on the condition that the guerrillas cease terrorist activities and kidnapping.