Former Senator Piedad Cordoba will not follow through on her announcement of the unilateral release of 19 hostages held in captivity by the left-wing guerrilla group FARC, newspaper El Espectador reported Wednesday.
Instead, Cordoba will announce Thursday that she, along with several Nobel laureates, parliamentarians, writers, and leader of social movements, continue to request that the FARC release all hostages.
Cordoba’s humanitarian organization, “Colombians for Peace,” has created chapters around the country to create regional and local dialogues with guerrilla groups such as the FARC and the ELN. According the group, they want to “contribute to create an environment conducive to dialogues between the illegal armed groups and the National Government”
Although President Juan Manuel Santos would welcome the unilateral release of the hostages as a step towards peaceful negotiations with the FARC, Cordoba’s insistence to maintain a dialogue with the guerrilla group goes directly against the wishes of the president.
“We only open the door for dialogue when we are sure that [armed groups] have shown clear interest in achieving peace and do not mock the country again. The unilateral and unconditional release of hostages who are now in their possession could be a step in the right direction,” Santos explained.
The controversial former senator, who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, was suspended from Congress for her alleged ties to the FARC. The inspector general found in 2010 that Cordoba had “promoted and collaborated with” the guerrilla group.