Opposition Presidential candidates said Wednesday that Colombian President Alvaro
Uribe authorized Piedad Cordoba to participate in FARC hostage
negotiations to create a “smoke screen” to draw attention away from the ‘notary scandal‘.
Uribe’s authorization of Cordoba‘s involvement broke the stalemate in negotiations with the FARC, who had demanded the ‘Colombians for Peace’ leader’s involvement.
Presidential candidate Alfonso Gomez Mendez said it was “a great coincidence” that Uribe broke the stalemate “precisely when the former Superintendent of Notary and Registry denounced the Presidency for issuing notaries to Congressmen who voted in favor of Uribe’s 2006 re-election”.
Gomez called the President’s move a “smoke screen”.
Opposition Senator Cecilia Lopez said she “found it very interesting that when everything about the notaries is uncovered, which is a very serious matter, the President immediately comes out with a thing that makes us Colombians happy. It must be a smoke screen, but don’t be fooled, the notary scandal and the re-election issue won’t disappear”.
Cordoba called Uribe’s announcement a “positive gesture”. The Opposition Senator
requested a meeting with the President to set the release process in
Cordoba will work with International Red Cross (IRC).
IRC representative Carlos Rios reiterated the
organization would do “whatever is necessary” to achieve the liberation
of the hostages.
Uribe demanded the simultaneous release of 24 political hostages and said the FARC must also hand over the bodies of dead
Oppositon Senator Hector Eli Rojas said Uribe’s announcement would be “more pleasing if he hadn’t laid out conditions, like that all the hostages must be freed and the bodies handed over on the same day, because that would be an impossible task”.
House of Representatives Congressman Guillermo Rivera said Uribe’s conditions “are going to slow down the process a lot because they [the FARC] had only announced the handover of two members of the armed forces”
Colombians for Peace representative Ivan Cepeda said Uribe’s conditions were “a step backward” in the hostage negotiation process.